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Revelations- Chapter Eleven

September 15th, 2009 (12:00 am)

Ummm, has anyone seen a beta laying around? ... I seem to have mispalced mine.

*sigh*

Anyway, on with the chapter!

Chapter Eleven: …To Talk Of Many Things

--

Jason frowned as he squinted through the clouds to the roof of the Daily Planet. While most of the reporters appeared to have gone downstairs, probably when Clark and Lois had arrived, some still lingered underneath the shadow of the globe. Maybe they had heard he was supposed to be showing up.

Jason wasn't self-centered or arrogant by any means but even he knew of all his parents' children he would be the most analyzed and talked about. The fact that Superman hadn't been present for the first years of his son's life was bound to raise 'abandonment' questions.

Jason knew that it would take at least his testimony on Clark's worthiness as a father to properly quell any outrage at the world's beloved hero being a deadbeat dad. Which meant he really should get to the bullpen as soon as possible to make sure he got his say in the biggest story since Superman's appearance.

Yet he remained hovering just about the clouds, desperately hoping something, anything would happen to delay it even a moment longer.

His prayers were answered a second later by a sarcastically bright voice behind him, "Hey, Jase, funny meeting you up here. So how's your morning been?"

“Oh, just brilliant,” he replied in the same falsely bright tone as Sophie came to hover next to him. “My future father-in-law thinks Superman killed his brother and now loathes me so much he’s willing to go on TV and order his daughter away from me. This is the best day I’ve had in a long time.”

Sophie nodded sympathetically, dropping the act. “Yeah, I saw that, how’s Evie taking it?”

Jason shrugged. “About as well as can be expected,” he sighed, “she says she still wants to marry me but it’s not like I can ask her to give up her family for me.”

Sophie nodded before surprising him by putting her arms around him and pulling him into a mid-air hug. Jason was shocked for a few moments before returning it gladly. Sophie hadn’t hugged him like this since they were little kids, professing in middle school that she was too old for such things. Jason had been a little saddened as Sophie had always been a little special to him as his first sibling. Then of course he’d decided hugging your sister wasn’t very cool either and the matter had been dropped.

Now suddenly, he was ten years old again and his little sister was clinging to him in fear of the monsters in her closet and he was trying to assure her they didn’t exist. Except this time they were very real and Jason was scared too.

“We'll get through this,” Sophie told him, pulling away and trying to wipe her eyes without him seeing.

"I know," Jason lied, pretending not to notice. "But, hey, don't make this all about me, how are you? What's going on with Harvard- the news said you were getting kicked out."

Sophie shrugged. "I'm not out yet," she said with a heavy sigh, "but there's been an accusation of cheating against me because of… you know," she muttered with a half-shrug, "they think I've somehow been using my abilities to look at other papers or something."

Jason looked at her in shock. "They can't do that can they? Last I heard 'just because they have the ability too' wasn’t a very good reason."

Sophie sighed heavily, "There's evidence," she muttered, looking away.

Jason felt a weird sinking feeling in his stomach as his sister didn't make eye contact. "Soph, you didn't-"

"What?" Sophie's head whipped around and she glared so angrily at him her eyes glowed red with barely constrained rage-induced heat-vision. "You actually think I cheated?"

Had he been on solid ground Jason probably would've taken a step back at her sudden change in temper. "Whoa," he floated a few feet back and held up his hands, "Soph, I never said-"

"Yes, you did!" she snapped, "I can't believe you're on their side."

"I'm not," Jason assured her quickly, "but when you said they had more evidence you just looked a little… worried," he tried to explain.

"Oh," Sophie deflated so suddenly Jason wondered if their was such a thing as emotional whiplash. "That. No, I'm not worried about all the evidence they claim to have- I went to see the Dean after talking to Dani and I'm pretty sure I can defend myself well enough and get the accusation thrown away. But it the meantime I'm on academic suspension and the scholarship people called me to say they were suspending my funding indefinitely." She shook her head, turning away from Jason again and wiping her eyes. "I might lose the scholarship entirely," she whispered quietly, "so it's not going to matter if they do kick me out- I won't be able to go anyway."

"Can they take it away if it's not proven though?" Jason asked, placing his hand on her shoulder.

She nodded, still not looking at him. "It's a private scholarship and apparently even the accusation is a bad look."

"Look," Jason tried to sound strong for her like he remembered his Dad doing countless times in their childhood, "even if you do lose your scholarship it in no way means you have to leave Harvard. You can just do what everyone else does and borrow the money, get a loan. It's not the end of the world."

Sophie didn't say anything for quite a while but eventually she nodded and when she turned back to face him her eyes were dry. "You know we have to go down there sometime," she reminded him, her tone indicating the money matter was closed for now. "We can't wait for Dean forever- besides, he's a big boy, he can join us we he's ready."

“I guess,” Jason sighed, looking down again at the mass of reporters swarming in the streets. Somehow word had gotten out the Clark ‘Superman’ Kent had arrived it the building and there was speculation about what he was doing in there. Most had got it right and were telling their viewers he was giving an interview, but some were convinced he was just going to work or that he was being fired by Perry for not telling him who he was.

“Well?” Sophie raised her eyebrows at him, looking rather amused by his procrastinating. “Are we going or not?”

“Nothing stopping you,” he muttered, not realizing just how reluctant he was until he heard the rather childish words come out of his mouth.

Sophie grinned challengingly at him and without warning flipped upside down and plunged through the clouds. Jason followed a split-second later but it wasn’t soon enough and Sophie touched down on the roof an instant before him. “I win,” she announced smugly before both became aware of the sudden hush that followed their arrival.

"C'mon," Sophie called, pointedly ignoring the stares of the reporters, several of whom had been frequent babysitters of her and her sibling in the past.

The way they were all staring at the pair was making Jason uncomfortable, like they were strangers or worse, some sort of freaks. He quickly followed his sister to the elevator, ignoring the stares. He couldn't really blame them though- he supposed he'd probably act much the same way if someone he knew suddenly revealed a huge secret like this.

"So how do you think this is going to work?" Jason asked, trying to ignore the knot in his stomach.

Sophie just shrugged, her eyes fixed on the changing floor numbers. "No idea, they might do us separately or all together. How do Mom and Dad do it?"

Jason frowned. "I don't think Mom and Dad have ever had to interview a whole family before. I have no idea how it's going to work."

"Well you've done group interviews before, right?" Sophie asked, apparently determined to get at least some idea of what they were going to face.

Jason shrugged. "I've done them with Kate and Tristan to promote BreakOut but the subject matter and purpose of those interviews was significantly lighter."

"Fair enough," Sophie sighed, looking like she wanted to ask more but she wasn't given the chance to as the elevator doors opened onto the bullpen.

They stepped out together and Jason found himself relaxing slightly as the familiar chaos he'd grown up in washed over him. So long as he let the conversations blur into incomprehensible noise and closed his eyes so he couldn't see any TV screens he could almost pretend it was just another day at the Planet.

It didn't last of course. "Jason, Sophie, I thought you guys might show up." Jason opened his eyes as his Uncle Jimmy's voice carried over the desks, but most of the other reporters seemed so involved in what they were doing hardly any noticed the pair.

"Hey, Uncle Jimmy," Sophie greeted him as she lead the way to his desk, "busy day?" she asked with a grin.

Jimmy shrugged, "So-so," he laughed, "I'm actually on a bit of a trip down memory lane myself," he told them, swiveling his computer screen to they could see the images on it.

The first Jason recognized as his parents' wedding, his five-year-old self standing proudly beside them holding the rings. The one right next to it was from only a few hours later and pictured Superman holding a small girl covered in soot and ash as he delivered her into the care of EMTs after pulling her from a burning building.

"The Chief wants a whole series like this," he explained, "Clark on one side and Superman on the other, the closer in time the better. We're running a special issue on this."

"Um, cool," Sophie said, apparently unsure how to respond properly. "You wouldn't happen to know where Mom and Dad are though would you?"

"Conference Room A," Jimmy told them, "but I think the Chief wanted to interview Jason separately at least, because of … well you know," he trailed doff awkwardly, looking intensely at his screen, apparently examining a small spot on Lois' veil.

"Thanks, Uncle Jimmy." Jason nodded and raise an eyebrow at Sophie who shrugged.

"Better now than never," she replied to his unspoken question.

He could hear his Dad talking before they even opened the door.

“I said I wouldn’t talk about them without their permission, but you’re about to get one better- they’re here themselves.”

Sophie pushed open the door and smiled, "Hey, Dad." She smiled nervously, pulling Jason in behind her when he hesitated. "Hey, Mom how's it going?"

"Jason, Sophie," Ralph interjected before Lois or Clark could reply, "I was hoping you'd join us. Mr. White actually seemed rather certain you would. He wanted to interview you guys separately."

"He did, did he?" Lois asked, narrowing her eyes at Ralph who wisely avoided her gaze as he directed Sophie and Jason to the reporters assigned to each of them.

"I'd prefer to give a separate one," Jason told his parents before he moved, realizing it was true even though he hadn't known it until then. "I just think it'd be easier," he explained, looking at his sister, who just shrugged.

"I don't mind."

"Well, I still have a few more questions to ask you two," Ralph told Lois and Clark, looking down at his pad. "And I've never found group interviews to be as productive a smaller or individual ones."

"Okay," Clark agreed, looking at his two oldest children. "If that's what you want." Both Jason and Sophie nodded so he continued. "Just relax and be honest then."

"And remember, you don't have to answer anything you don’t want to," Lois added, sending another glare at Ralph.

"Alright then." Jason nodded. "See you soon." And Good Luck he added silently.

--

"Look," Ralph said once the kids had left the room, "I know you said you don't want to talk about them but you are going to have to at some point. They proved last night they inherited more from you than your eyes," he told Clark, "I mean, there are people out there who are seriously concerned you're trying to 'remake' our world."

"'Remake?'" Lois glared at Ralph, who held up his hands and gave her a 'don't shoot the messenger' look.

Clark sighed heavily. "You mean people are afraid I'm somehow creating a race of Kryptonian children who'll take over the world? Something like that?"

Ralph nodded. "Something like that," he agreed.

"We shouldn’t even have to dignify that with a response," Lois scoffed. "I'm not some sort of Kryptonian baby-making machine popping them out one after the other to try and create a new master race."

"You do have six of them though," Ralph reminded her. Lois gave him a glare that could have been the origin of the phrase 'if looks could kill' and Clark saw why Perry had assigned Ralph to the interview. "That is a large family, speaking of which, how do you disciple them? I mean, considering size of your family and the fact that they've got all of Clark's abilities, how do you keep control?"

"I doubt our discipline is all that different from most parents," Lois said with a shrug, "sure, we get a few more holes in the walls than most families. But on the upside, they can hear you yelling form a lot further away."

"It's never really been a huge issue though," Clark admitted, still smiling at Lois' comment, "they're good kids, they'd never do anything really bad."

"But really," Ralph continued, "how can we humans feel safe knowing that your children are basically as indestructible as you? What should happen in the event one of them should decide to give free reign to your powers if they get greedy or arrogant?"

Clark closed his eyes for a moment, absorbing the question, it had been one he'd always known would come up when they world discovered the kids but in all the time he'd thought about it being asked he'd never been able to think up an answer that would erase all doubt from people's minds. "All I can say is that we know our children and they would never do anything like what you're suggesting."

"But we only have your word for that," Ralph pressed.

"I can't give you anything else," Clark said, "but from the day I told Jason who I was I've also told him that with great power comes great responsibility, and we are to only use our abilities in way s that help people, not harm them."

"Wait." Ralph frowned and turned to Lois. "You didn’t tell Jason Superman was his real father?"

"How could I?" Lois asked, rolling her eyes, "At the time I didn't have any idea who he was either."

"You didn't?" Ralph looked genuinely shock at that and Lois laughed.

"I know," she agreed, as Clark tried to sink into his chair, "it's still unbelievable to me how long he waited."

"Okay then, Clark, how long did it take you to tell Lois about your secret?"

Clark opened his mouth but even with his speed he couldn't beat Lois, who replied with the only really true answer there was to that question:

"Too long."

--

Jason Kent was no stranger to fame or interviews. BreakOut was an extremely popular after school TV show and being one of the main hosts he was regularly recognized on the streets and often called by kid's magazines and even gave live TV interviews a few times a year. But for some reason he was as nervous this time as he had been during his first interview.

"Well, given that most of your biography is easily accessible thanks to your work in television, we won't bother wasting time on that. In fact I think we should just jump straight into the question on everyone's minds," Owen Reed, the reporter assigned to Jason said, apparently not noticing the other man's uneasiness, his pen poised somewhat ominously above his pad.

"Do you hold any bad feeling towards your father for effectively abandoning you for five years?"

"No," Jason said without hesitation, "in fact I'd like to say right now that 'abandoned' is the wrong word to use in this situation. Dad didn't even know I existed until he got back- saying he abandoned me is almost giving the idea that he knowingly left me to go find Krypton."

Owen nodded, scribbling on his pad while asking his next, equally predictable question. "I think we all saw last night that you inherited at least a few of your father's unique abilities but what's the full extent of them?"

"Everything Dad can do, Sophie, Dean and I can also do. We have all his powers and they're at least as strong as his."

"How about the other kids, your younger siblings. How much can they do at the moment?"

Jason bit his lip and looked through the glass at his parents in the next room. His Dad had told him to be honest but it was a different story when he wasn't talking about himself. He decided to go with the safest option.

"I can't discuss that at this time," he said, the words carefully rehearsed from the few times BreakOut had gotten bad press.

Owen looked slightly annoyed but no doubt had heard that statement and ones like it a million times during his career and he moved on. "What about his weaknesses? Do you have the same reaction to kryptonite?"

Jason frowned again, longing for the easy questions about children's TV and whether or not his co-host, Kate and Tristan were an item (they're not). The actual answer wasn't hard but he wasn’t' sure how much to say. "We're only affected by a certain type of Kryptonite," he explained carefully, "most of the stuff on the streets or the black market is harmless to us."

"So in a way, you're stronger than your father?" Owen asked, his head snapping up for the first time since the interview had started.

Jason suddenly felt very uncomfortable. He could see where a question like that could led. What would happen if one of the kids decided to go rogue? How could Superman stop them when they were stronger than him?

"No," Jason shook his head, trying not to lie but trying not to tell the whole truth at the same time. "Not really, he's stronger than us normally but Kryptonite affects us in different ways than it does him," he said slowly, hoping the majority of the public wouldn't think too deeply about the ways Clark could be overpowered by his children. Hopefully they'd have a chance to show the world they were just a peaceful as their father before any real fear took hold. "You know, we can still get hurt," he said quickly and perhaps a bit to eagerly.

"Hmmm…" Owen frowned at him for a few more moments before nodding. "Right, now moving on…"

Jason resisted the urge to hit himself in the head and look crazier than he probably already sounded. It was going to be a tough few weeks.

--

"-this story seems to be all people here can talk about," the CNN reporter standing outside the Daily Planet building was saying as she was jostled by the crowd, "reactions are mixed here in Metropolis where Clark 'Superman' Kent has lived and worked for most of his life. Many feel that their once trusted hero has lied to them by keeping his true identity a secret while others understand his position."

"Of course we're referring to the many criminals Superman has caught and put in prison, aren't we?" The studio reporter asked in a tone that clearly said they'd talked about this several times before.

"Yes, we don't have exact numbers but in Metropolis alone the number of criminals brought to justice because of him is in the thousands and we're only just compiling global numbers, which some estimate may be as high as the millions covering all two decades Superman has been on Earth. Many have tried to get revenge on the Man of Steel through various means, most utilizing kryptonite and their weapon of choice.

"However, many feel that the reason Mr. Kent hid his identity for so long was to protect his wife and children from such revenge seekers. While it seems the older children have inherited their father's unique abilities the younger children may be more vulnerable to attack."

Richard frowned as the camera switched back to the studio reporter. Now that his initial shock had gone he could certainly understand why Clark had kept his identity from the world at large. While he doubted the criminals Clark had captured was in the millions he had absolutely no doubt many were extremely dangerous and while it seemed Jason, Sophie and Dean at least were more than capable of taking care of themselves, it would not be long before Chris and the twins surpassed kryptonite as the best way to hurt Superman. Richard wondered if any of the people who seemed angry at Clark had kids themselves- he couldn't see a parent not understanding the need to keep their children safe.

But the deep hurt in his chest still wouldn't disappear. Yes, he could see why Clark hid his identity from the world but why hadn't they told him? Did they really think Richard would use it against them and risk hurting Jason? Or did they just not think he could handle it?

"Is Uncle Clark really Superman?" Richard jumped as the small voice came from the darkened doorway.

He muted the TV and held his arms out as his son ran into them. "What are you doing up this late?" he asked, kissing Eric on the forehead as the boy snuggled into his Dad's arms.

"I can't sleep and I heard the TV going," Eric explained, "will Jason take me flying next time he comes to visit?"

"I don't know," Richard replied, trying not to let his real emotions show on his face.

The other thing that had been bothering him for the whole night. Why had Jason never said anything? Richard had made an effort to see him whenever possible, flying back to Metropolis for his birthday and Christmas and not once had Jason ever let on he was anything other than a completely normal human. Maybe they were simply growing apart and Richard had been too blind to see it.

"Do you think Jason asked his girlfriend to marry him yet?" Eric giggled as the muted TV displayed a picture of his brother.

"I- um, I don't know," Richard stammered, remembering the pretty architect Jason had introduced to him on his last visit.

"I hope so," Eric continued, "she was really nice."

She had been nice, Richard recalled. What was more- it was only last week that Jason had confided in him over the phone that he was thinking of proposing, which Richard had urged him to do, being utterly thrilled by the news. He hadn't even told Lois and Clark when he told Richard either, so clearly he still felt close to his first father.

Then why, he asked himself, why didn’t he tell me?

"Dad are you listening?" Eric asked, looking annoyed.

"I'm sorry, kid," Richard sighed, "it's just late and I've got a lot on my mind," he apologized.

"Oh," Eric muttered. "Is it about Jason? Are you going to go to America soon?" he asked quietly, tightening his grip on his father.

"I would never leave without telling you," Richard reminded him, "and when I do, I'll always come back," he said firmly, pulling him in for a hug. It baffled him where Eric had acquired this fear that Richard would one day leave and never come back but he tried to take every chance to tell his son it would never happen.

"So you are going though?" Eric asked again, still sounding worried.

"I don't know," Richard admitted, holding his son tighter. "I really don't know what's going to happen."

--

A/N: A huge thanks to JamesTKent and Pony R. for their questions. Hope you guys enjoyed the last part of the interview(s), next chapter we check up on a few more people to see how the news is effecting everyone. Hope to see you there. PS- My beta appears to have fallen off the face of the Earth so this is the first un-betaed chapter I've put up- sorry if it sucked.

Reviews are love!

Comments

Posted by: januaried (januaried)
Posted at: September 14th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)

Awww, poor Richard! I know I would be just as confused and hurt as he is. I hope he and Clark will make friends soon.

Love the sibling comfort and the interviews! Most people portray Ralph as pretty much evil but I'm glad you aren't. :D

Posted by: Grace (repmetsyrrah)
Posted at: September 15th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC)
SR; Cracked and Broken

Yeah, Richard's having a tough time- he really needs to talk to Lois, Clark and Jason and find out why they never told him but he also doesn't want to just run out on the family he's got in Japan. I'm sure he'll figure it out though.

Thanks! I'm really trying to build the relationships between the kids- they'll be important in the coming chapters. Some will get stronger and others may break entirely but hopefully they'll pull though (I'm not making any guarantees though!)

Hmmm, Ralph has always been pretty much a blank slate to me- the only thing I knew was the name. And lots of reporters are angry but Perry knew Ralph could handle it and act professionally.

Thanks for commenting!

Posted by: Ms-NthngSpcl (triadchild)
Posted at: September 21st, 2009 07:56 am (UTC)

XP

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