By Beth Freeman (Beth012400@aol.com)
Summary: Tempus kidnaps Lois and Clark's future children, bringing them back 15 years to the present. The kids escape, seeking out the younger versions of their parents for help.
This is my first fanfic. Comments are greatly appreciated, but please go easy on me! 8)
The alleyway around them seemed to vibrate as the fog engulfed them. Claudia squeezed her eyes shut and held her little sister, Alex, tighter. She felt her brother, Nathan, inch a little closer to her as the surrounding scenery began to come into focus once again. As she looked around, she didn't notice any significant difference in her surroundings. They were on the same weird-looking contraption sitting in the same alleyway as they had been a minute earlier. She turned and smiled smugly to the man sitting to her left. "Looks like your little experiment didn't work, Tempus. Now, it would be in your best interest to let us go before my father tracks you down."
"Really. Well, I think you would be interested in taking a peek around that corner. I have a feeling that what you find there would do wonders wiping that smug little smirk off your face."
Suddenly, Tempus keeled over, revealing a smiling Nathan behind him. Grabbing Alex, he answered Claudia's questioning eyes with, "Mom's tai-kwon-do class last week." Together they ran out onto the darkening streets of Metropolis. What they saw there stopped them dead in their tracks. It was Metropolis, all right, but not the Metropolis of their time. They recognized many of the buildings and streets, but everything they saw was fifteen years outdated in their eyes. Nathan slowly turned to look into his older sister's eyes, and listened as she said a single, horrifying sentence.
"Oh my gosh, Claudia, Tempus really did it! He really transported us fifteen years into the past. What are we going to do?"
As she gazed around this unfamiliar yet familiar Metropolis, she said, "Simple. We have to find Mom and Dad."
Clark Kent skimmed over the story on his computer screen one last time, then breathed a sigh of relief as he sent it to Perry's office. He felt a familiar pair of arms encircle his shoulders and smiled. "I am so glad today is Friday. I can't believe Perry let us have the whole weekend off," he said.
His fiancee, Lois Lane, smiled too and kissed him on the cheek. "Well, with his situation with Alice, I think he's worried the same thing will happen to us. You know, too much work, not enough play." She emphasized this last point by lowering her arms to his ribs, where she knew he was ticklish. "Well, are you ready to go?" she asked as she straightened up.
"Sure, just let me turn off my computer." As he said this, the elevator door opened onto the almost empty newsroom, and three children stepped off the elevator. The oldest, a girl, was about twelve, a boy about nine, and another girl that could not have been over six. They were clutching hands and glancing nervously around the city room, obviously looking for someone. Suddenly, the youngest girl let go of the boy's hand and raced down the stairs directly towards Lois and Clark.
"Mommy! Daddy! I knew you would be here. Claudia said you would already be home, but I knew you would be here!" Her words came in a steady stream as she clutched Clark's legs and beamed up at them.
"Alex!" the other two yelled simultaneously as they raced after her. When they finally reached her, the oldest knelt down beside her and said, "We told you not to say anything if we found them." She glanced nervously up at Lois and Clark and found them exactly as she expected. Stunned. Sighing, she glanced around the city room, them grabbed them each by the hand. Leading them toward the conference room, she said in a low voice, "We need to talk."
Lois sat on Clark's couch. She didn't remember feeling this shocked in her life, excluding the moment she realized Clark was Superman. Even that somehow didn't seem as incredible as the story the children in front of her had just told her. She glanced at Clark, and saw the bewildered expression on his face that must have been the twin of the one on her own. In her mind, she tried to sort through the events that Claudia and Nathan had told them. These were her and Clark's children. Someone named Tempus had kidnapped them and sent them fifteen years into the past. These were her children. They didn't know what Tempus wanted, but they had managed to escape from him and find them. These were her children. Somehow, that fact kept coming back to her. She had never been especially good with children, and had never pictured herself as the parental type. This, of course, had all changed when she fell in love with Clark, but even then, it was hard for her to imagine herself as a mother.
She glanced over the children. Alex, exhausted, had curled up in Clark's lap shortly after they came to Clark's apartment and fell asleep. It amazed Lois how natural this looked to her, and how much Alex looked like them. She was small, with dark, curly hair. Her nose was definitely Clark's, but something in her big, brown eyes told Lois that she had inherited her knack for getting into trouble. Nathan, too, looked much like Clark, but his hair and skin tone matched Lois's perfectly. He had Clark's shy smile and sense of humor, and didn't let any opportunity to tease his sisters pass. It was Claudia she was having trouble placing. Oh, Lois could see that she had a stubborn streak and tongue to match her own, and her ability to see what people were really thinking reminded her of Martha. What she could not figure out was who she looked like. Claudia had long red hair and deep green eyes that seem to look right through you. Her slightly upturned nose was sprinkled with freckles, and something behind her eyes made her seem older than her age.
Lois was startled back into reality when she felt a head slip slowly to her shoulder, and realized that Nathan had fallen asleep. She glanced to the other end of the couch at Claudia, who had curled up with her head resting on the arm rest, then smiled at Clark. He smiled back and whispered, "I guess we had better get them into bed." He picked Alex up and gently carried her into his bedroom, while Lois slowly eased out from underneath Nathan. He woke at the movement, and Lois guided him into the bedroom. Then Clark came back and gently picked up Claudia. Lois followed him into the bedroom and smiled at the image of her children asleep in Clark's large bed. They quietly tip-toed back into the living room.
"Wow," Clark said, with a backward glance toward the bedroom.
"I know," Lois said, reaching out to grab Clark's hand and pull him to the couch with her.
"I mean, I always wanted children, and I always figured we would have children, but I guess just seeing them, face to face…We have to help them, Lois. This Tempus guy, he's still out there. He's going to come looking for them. We have to make sure he doesn't find them."
"I know. We have to figure out some way to hide them until we can figure out how to send them back to their time. But Clark, I have a feeling that the only way to send them back is the way they came. And the only way to do that is to find Tempus and that time-machine."
"Well, they are safe tonight, and we can't really do anything until tomorrow. Do you want me to take you home?"
Lois smiled up at Clark and snuggled closer to him. "Actually, I think I would like to stay here tonight. You know, so I will be close to them."
"I understand. I can't seem to stop looking at them. Especially Claudia. I know she doesn't look like us, but for some reason, she reminds me of someone. I can't explain it, but I just feel like I've seen that hair and those eyes before. Especially her eyes." Clark shook himself out of the faraway place he was in and smiled down at Lois. "We had better get some sleep, or we aren't going to be much help to them tomorrow."
They lay down on the couch in each other's arms and fell asleep.
Clark flew over his neighborhood one last time, using his x-ray vision to check every building below him. Nothing. He had been out all night, scouring the city. There wasn't any sign of his children. He turned and headed for home, hoping Lois had some news.
She was on the phone when he flew through the window, so he zeroed in on the conversation between his wife and Inspector Henderson. "We have people searching every inch of this city. I have guys making flyers with the pictures you gave us, and others are going around door to door asking if anyone has seen them. We are going to find them, Lois. You and Clark just hang in there."
Lois hung up the phone and turned to Clark. When he silently shook his head, she collapsed in his arms, sobbing. Neither of them had ever known fear like this. "I don't understand, Clark. They were here this morning. How could someone just take them? How? Oh, Clark, maybe they had Kryptonite. Oh, Clark, what if…"
"Don't even think that, Lois. They are going to be fine. They have to be." But even as he said this, tears rolled down his cheeks as he realized that what Lois said could be all too true.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. They looked at each other, not daring to hope. Lois ran to the door as Clark quickly spun into regular clothes. When she opened the door, Lois saw before her an old man wearing a very old- fashioned suit, complete with pocket watch. "May I help you?"
"No, but I believe I can help you. Remember me, Lois? I'm H.G. Wells," the old man explained.
"Oh my goodness! You really are! But why are you here now?" she asked.
Clark came up behind her, looking confused. "I don't understand. You're H.G. Wells? And Lois, you know him?"
"Clark, remember, right before we got married, I told you about being kidnapped by Tempus and taken to the other…" She paused as the reality hit her. "Oh my God, Tempus has my children! Mr. Wells, does he have them?"
"Yes, I am afraid he does, and we must go and get them."
Lois and Clark awakened to a sound they would come to treasure throughout their lives. It was the sound of their children's voices. Lois rose up and looked in the kitchen to see all three of her children hard at work fixing breakfast. Claudia was pouring glasses of orange juice and cups of coffee, Nathan was cooking French toast at the stove, and Alex was setting the table. Alex looked up to grab another plate and noticed Lois and Clark were awake. She ran over to them and jumped in Clark's lap, giving them both a big hug in the process. "Good morning, Mommy! Good morning, Daddy!" she exclaimed.
Clark laughed and grabbed her in a hug, almost without thinking. It all seemed so natural, yet so different. Claudia walked over and said quietly, "Sorry if we woke you. We were hoping to have everything ready before you got up. The French toast is almost ready. Nathan makes the best French toast in the world, except for Grandma, of course. It's his only talent," she added, with a backward glance at her brother. He crossed his eyes at her and blew a small current of wind, messing up her hair. Lois and Clark laughed at this exchange, but then got serious as they began to try to figure out how to get the kids home. As they sat down at the table, the five began talking about possible ways to find the time machine.
"Unless Tempus has moved it, it's still in that alleyway. I doubt that he has had much time to do anything. Nathan knocked him out pretty good," Claudia said.
Clark glanced at them thoughtfully. "How many powers do the three of you actually have?" he finally asked. He had always wondered how the balance between Kryptonian and human would work out in his children, and he had wanted to ask them since he first heard that they were his.
"Alex doesn't have any yet, but she is only six and even you didn't start getting powers until you were older than that," Nathan explained. "Claudia is pretty strong and fast, and she has super-hearing. I have the super-breath, and the enhanced vision. None of us can fly, and none of us have heat vision yet. But you never know. You didn't even get all your powers until you were 18, and Jor-El said it could take even longer with us."
"What! How? How did you talk to Jor-El?"
"Oh no!" exclaimed Claudia. "You haven't found the globe yet? I thought you had."
"I've found the globe, but there was nothing on it about kids."
"Oh! So you have just found the first set of messages. There are others, some about Mom, some about us. There may be more, but they only show up at certain times. At first, only you could see them when you weren't near the globe, but now all of us can. Even Mom."
The final piece of French toast had been eaten by this time, and Lois looked around. As much as she wanted to hear everything her children could tell her, she knew that now was not the time. Tempus would be looking for them, and they had to send them back to their time before he found them. Sighing, she said, "We need to get going. We have to find a way to get you three home before Tempus finds you."
"You're right, Lois. If he went to all the trouble of taking you to another time, he isn't going to stop until he finds you."
"Okay. Come on, Alex, let's get your shoes on." Nathan took his sister's hand and led her into the bedroom, while Clark cleared the table. Lois followed Claudia into the living room. When they were alone, she took her hand and led her to the couch.
"Claudia, can I just ask you one thing. I have been wondering this since I first saw you. Do you know who you look like. I know the other two look like Clark and me, but I can't seem to remember anyone in my family looking like you."
Claudia smiled, and leaned closer to Lois. "Don't tell Dad yet, he will find out soon enough. I look like Lara."
Lois smiled and hugged her. The others joined them in the living room, and they all headed out to look for the time machine.
Tempus woke up and tried to take in his surroundings. His head ached from the blow he had received from Nathan, and he was frustrated that the kids had gotten away. Sitting up on the time machine, he tried to think. Those kids had way too much of their mother in them (and a fair amount of their father, he thought bitterly as he rubbed his aching head). So what would Lois do in this situation. He grinned. "Duh, she'd run to Superman," he thought aloud. He started off toward the street, then stopped. Looking back, he thought, "They are going to come looking for this to take them home. Well, I'll take care of that." With that, he wired the time machine with explosives and destroyed it. "Now," he thought, "let's go see what Mommy and Daddy are up to."
"It was right here, I'm sure of it," Claudia babbled as she searched frantically for the time machine that wasn't there. "What could he have done with it? It was rather large and rather strange looking, its not like he could have just driven it down the street."
"Oh no," Clark said from the opposite end of the alley. He turned around, holding up two large pieces of metal that had apparently been through an explosion. "I think he must have known we were coming and destroyed it. For some reason, he wants the three of you to stay here, but why would he trap himself here as well?"
"Because, there, I am a fugitive, but here, I'm already in jail," Tempus answered from the entrance to the alleyway. He was holding a large machine gun and was walking dangerously close to Alex with it. In the blink of an eye, Clark grabbed her and handed her to Lois on the other side of the alley. Then he went back for Tempus. But as he approached, Clark felt a familiar weakness and realized all too late that Tempus was more deadly than he seemed. "Recognize this, Superman. Herb didn't know it, but I kept a little souvenir from our trip to Smallville." He waved the green, glowing rock in front of Clark's face just before he sank to the ground in pain.
"Daddy!" Alex screamed, leaping from Lois's arms and rushing to his side. But when she neared, she too felt the effects of the deadly rock and fell at her father's side, crying. Claudia and Nathan tried to rush to her, but Lois held them back, knowing they would suffer the same fate. Just as she was about to ignore the large weapon in Tempus's hand and rely on her martial arts training and the element of surprise, the alleyway behind Tempus filled with fog, blocking out the view of the city. Before he had the chance to even turn around, Tempus keeled over face first next to Alex and Clark. Lois looked up and stared as she saw herself grab the kryptonite from Tempus and seal it in a small lead box. Then she looked up at Lois and smiled, her eyes filled with tears, as Clark and Alex slowly stood up. The Lois of the future looked very much like the Lois of the present, with only a few lines around her eyes to reveal her age. She walked up to the younger version of herself.
"Mom! How did you get here?"
"Hey Mom, nice move with Tempus!"
"Mommy, you're here! Now we have two Mommies!"
These phrases were yelled simultaneously as the three children raced to meet their mother. The future Lois picked up Alex while hugging Nathan and Claudia. Then she called out behind her, "Honey, they're here!" From somewhere around the corner, a future form of Clark also appeared. He was greeted with the same enthusiasm. Lois and Clark stared at this scene and then smiled at each other, knowing that this would one day be them.
"We had better tie Tempus up, he is a terrible one for doing the unexpected, and we certainly wouldn't want him to wake up now," came a third voice from around the corner.
"You're right, Mr. Wells. Let's tie him up and get him on the time machine before he wakes up and decides he's had enough of the Kent family," the future Clark agreed as he untangled himself from his children and reached for Tempus.
When they had Tempus sufficiently tied and on the time machine, with Mr. Wells standing guard, the future Kents joined Lois and Clark once again in the alleyway. The children ran up to them, and Lois and Clark hugged each of them with tears in their eyes. When Lois got to Claudia, she held her for a minute, then whispered in her ear, "I guess I will see you in about three years."
"It's a date," she whispered back, tears streaming down her face. Then they slowly turned and walked toward the time machine, where Tempus had woken up.
"Don't worry about him," the future Clark told them. "We'll make sure the police lock him up for a long time."
As the family boarded the time machine, Tempus looked around and exclaimed, "Oh God, now I have to ride through time with Herb and the Brady Bunch. Now I know I'm going to choke on my own vomit."
As the machine began to vibrate and the fog began to rise, Lois and Clark saw their future children waving to them. They held hands and waved back until they were alone.