By Brian Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Summary: On New Krypton, Kal-El is arrested as a traitor when he refuses to marry Zara and affirms his intention to marry the earthling, Lois Lane.
This is the dedication for my story, The Return, and its sequel/continuation, The Homecoming. These are my first writings, so I feel I have to dedicate them.
Mom and Dad: for everything they've done for me. All my life they've told me to write something, and I finally followed their advice.
Lauren: for being the best friend I could have ever hoped for. She has stood by me in ways I could never have before imagined. She has helped me to understand myself. She pushed me to write these stories (so if they're bad, talk to her).
Rachel: for being my inspiration, my Lois Lane, whether she knows it or not.
Hello, everyone. This is my very first fanfic. In fact, this is the first time I've ever written *anything*. It came to me one day and my friend, Lauren, said she thought I could write a good L&C fanfic, so this is the result. Please be gentle. And send e-mail!
DISCLAIMER: Lois and Clark belong to me. Fooled you! Nope, they belong to Warner Bros. No infringement intended. You wanna sue me, go right ahead. You'll get several hundred comics and a computer with a maxed-out hard drive and that's about it.
If it's in < > then it's telepathy.
<How are you today, Kal-El?>
"Um, Zara, I still don't have the hang of this whole telepathy thing. You think we could speak vocally?" Clark asked in his newly learned Kryptonese.
"I guess so, Kal-El, but you're going to have to speak telepathically sooner or later. You are, after all, going to be my husband and will rule over New Krypton."
"You sure do like telling me that, don't you?" Clark said, blushing.
"Well, it's true, Kal-El."
"I've been meaning to tell you this since we defeated Lord Nor a week ago, Zara. I'm not going to marry you. I'm going home … to Lois."
Before Zara could respond, Prime Minister Den-Em, who was also in the room, shouted, "Guards! Arrest him!" The guards grabbed hold of Clark, who struggled in their grasp. "I knew this would happen. Lord Kal-El of the House of El, you are hereby under arrest."
"What are the charges?" Clark demanded.
"The charges are treason and being traitorous to your race."
Clark stood before the Great Council of New Krypton, specifically before the Tribunal, a trio of judges. The Tribunal consisted of Zara, Prime Minister Den-Em, and General Jem-Dar, Chief of Security of New Krypton and Lieutenant Ching's immediate superior.
"Lord Kal-El, do you understand the charges?" Den- Em asked.
"No, I do not." Clark was confused, and seething with anger. More than anything else, he wanted to leave this place and go home. He missed Lois.
"I was witness to your saying that you refuse to marry Zara, even though you know that, in doing so, civil war may break out due to the collapse of order."
"This is ridiculous! You're telling me that if I don't marry her, even though Lord Nor is in captivity, all of New Krypton will go to war?"
"Exactly" said General Jem-Dar.
Zara spoke up. "Kal-El, you still do not realize how much of New Krypton's culture is based on tradition and the old law. You are required to marry me and rule New Krypton by my side." <No matter how much either of us dislikes the idea.> she sent to his mind.
"I don't care about your laws! All I care about is returning to Lois Lane, the woman I love!"
Prime Minister Den-Em said, "Kryptonians are beyond such simplistic notions as emotion. We rely on logic. Logic dictates that you must marry Zara in order to preserve the peace. You are Kryptonian. Therefore, you must follow logic."
"I am NOT Kryptonian!"
This sent a wave of murmurs throughout the assembly. Den-Em and General Jem-Dar were red-faced.
"Take him away! This court will be readjourn tomorrow, with a live holocast transmitting all over New Krypton. Until then, court is in recess."
Zara watched as Clark was taken away, screaming to return "home" to Lois, and thought about what she just witnessed and what she has seen since hearing of Kal-El. At the same time, a young, blond-haired girl hiding in the shadows watched Clark and snuck away, deciding to visit this strange man.
Clark looked up, startled. Standing outside his cell was a 15-16 year old girl with blond hair. "Yes?"
"Are you Kal-El, son of Jor-El?" she asked.
"I guess so," he said, wondering who this girl was and why she called him "cousin".
"Wow! My name's Kara. My father was Zor-El. He was Jor-El's younger brother. I'm your cousin!"
"What?!? You're an El? I thought I was the last one!"
"You're the last male El. I'm the last female El. My father died two years ago."
"What are you doing here? Wait, let me guess. You're here to convince me to stay and marry Zara."
"No, I'm here to hear more about Earth, and Lois, and these emotions you speak of. Especially this emotion you call "love"."
They had spoken for several hours, and Kara seemed to actually understand what he was saying. Clark finally got sick of it and said "Kara, could you do me a favor?"
"Sure, cousin Kal. What?"
"Don't call me Kal. Could you please call me Clark?"
"Sure thing, cousin Clark." Kara was pleased to hear him say this. He actually wanted her to call him by his Earth name! It didn't really mean anything, she knew. But, it felt good somehow. "I've noticed that you seem uncomfortable in front of groups of people, and get even more uncomfortable when someone says your name. Why is that?"
"Even with all my time as Superman, I never got comfortable being the center of attention. As for the other thing, it will have to wait until tomorrow. Do you think you could come to the assembly tomorrow?"
"I could try, but I won't make any promises." She then saw the look on his face, and the emotions in his eyes, and heard his voice in her head, thinking of Lois. "I promise, cousin Clark. I've been noticing something. You still aren't good at using your telepathy, but every so often, when you get really emotional, I can't help but hear your thoughts."
"Really? What am I usually thinking about when you hear them?"
Clark blushed and looked down at his feet.
"You really do love her, don't you?"
Clark raised his head, and she saw more emotion than she thought possible in his brown eyes. "I love her more than life itself. She is my heart and soul. In fact, this," he pulled a ring on a chain around his neck out from under his collar and showed it to her, "is the only thing that's kept me going."
"What is that?"
"It was going to be her wedding ring," he whispered, his voice failing.
Kara finally made her decision on an issue that had been going through her mind since she arrived. She came closer to him, and put her hands on his face. They both froze, as their minds became one. She saw images, heard voices, felt emotions, experienced memories-
—Clark's parents standing by him, loving him, as each new power appears.
—Clark's mom trying to comfort him when Lana dumps him.
—Clark's travels around the world.
—Clark being interviewed in Perry White's office, when a beautiful young woman barges in and argues with Perry.
—Clark wearing his costume for the first time.
—The look on Lois's face when he walks into the space shuttle, finds the bomb, and swallows it right in front of her.
—His visit to Smallville with Lois, when he first finds out about Kryptonite.
—His first date with Lois.
—His first kiss with Lois.
—His excitement when she reveals her knowledge of his secret identity.
—His pain when she rejects his proposal.
—Their wedding disaster.
—The feeling he had when she regained her memory.
—The hardest decision he ever made, the one to leave Earth.
—The worst moment in his life, saying goodbye to Lois, possibly forever.
She let go of him. They sat away from each other, hardly breathing. After a while, she whispered, "You have to go home."
Clark stood before the Great Council, knowing his image and words were being transmitted all over New Krypton.
Zara said, "Do you have any last statements before we pass judgment, Kal-El?"
"Yes, I do." He walked up the podium and faced the entire assembly. "I am not Kal-El of Krypton!"
This sent waves of murmurs and whispers throughout the crowd. General Jem-Dar asked, "What do you mean by this?"
"Shut up! I have been known by several names throughout my life. You call me Kal-El, or Lord Kal-El of the House of El. Most of the people on Earth call me Superman, Son of Krypton, Man of Steel, or Man of Tomorrow. When I'm not in costume, my friends and family call me Clark Kent. But there are three people who, no matter what I wear, where I am, or who I'm with, consider me Clark. My adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, the only parents I have ever known or wanted, and Lois Lane, my fiancee, the woman I love and am to marry. They know that, on the inside, I am Clark, and that I don't care whatsoever about being Kryptonian! Krypton made me Kal-El and Superman, but I am from Earth! And Earth made me Clark Kent! I do not belong here! Send me home! To Earth! To my friends! To my parents! To LOIS!!!" By now, he was yelling and some members of the assembly were on their feet. "You claim to have no emotions, but you're wrong! I can see it in your faces! I can sense it in my mind, in your minds! You are all outraged! And I have seen other Kryptonians show other emotions! Even a little bit of love! You have emotions, but you're too scared to face them! Instead, you hide them!"
"I'm not," Kara said, coming up behind him. "Not anymore. And you can add one more to the list of people who think of you as Clark." She smiled at him.
"Make that two," Zara said from her podium. "Unfortunately, you must still be punished. Normally, the punishment for your crime is death, but these are special circumstances. Your punishment is to be banished from New Krypton, to a backwards planet somewhere far away."
Clark smiled, knowing what Zara had in mind. "You are very generous."
"And since New Krypton still needs a ruler, I will, reluctantly, marry … Lieutenant Ching." This caused more commotion. Zara picked up a small package off the floor next to her, and walked over to Clark. "Here are the clothes you will wear as your sentence is carried out. You will find a door behind you. Change in there."
Clark took the package, confused. He turned and went in the door. He opened the package, saw what was inside, and smiled. <Thank you, Zara.>
<You're welcome, Clark.>
Zara had just finished speaking, when she saw everyone looking behind her. She turned to see a caped figure with a bright red S on his chest walking toward the podium. Superman said to the assembly, "I'm going home. My cousin, Kara Zor-El, will represent the House of El in my place. It was nice to get to know my Kryptonian heritage, but I need to return to my human heritage. I'm going home."
The entire assembly stood up, bowed their heads, and crossed their arms in front of their chest in the Kryptonian sign of respect.
Clark stood on the bridge of the ship, dressed in his Superman uniform.
"Penny for your thoughts. Well, I'd pay if I didn't know you were thinking about Lois." Zara said from behind him.
Clark turned. "How'd you know?"
"I could hear your mind. Kara was right when she said that you send a lot easier when you get emotional."
"How'd you know she said that?"
"Easy. She told me." Zara smiled. She walked over to him and put her hands near his face. "May I?" He nodded. She put her hands on his face and experienced everything that Kara did. When she finally let go, she said, "I understand."
"What do you understand?"
"You. Lois. Earth. Emotion. Love."
"Now you really know why I have to return home."
"After that, how can I not?"
They entered Earth's solar system. Clark could already sense Lois. "Zara? When we left Earth, I could sense Lois and talk to her somewhat telepathically. Why is that? I thought our telepathy was restricted to Kryptonians only."
"Your love for Lois, and hers for you, knows no restrictions. You and she have a bond that lets you communicate with your minds, and maybe even your hearts."
Ching walked into the room and said, "It's time, Clark. We are now in orbit around Earth. We are ready to teleport you to Metropolis."
"Thank you, Ching."
"No, thank you. You have brought me and Zara together, and forced Kryptonians to face their emotions. I owe you much."
"Just don't take me away from Lois again," Clark said, smiling.
"Don't worry. If I did, you might take me away from Zara," he replied, walking over to Zara and taking her hand in his own.
Clark just smiled.
When the light disappeared, Clark opened his eyes to find himself in an alleyway. He was disoriented for a moment, until he saw a street sign. He smiled. Lois lived two blocks away. 'I guess I oughta drop bye and say hello. She'd better be happy to see me.' He took off, his powers already returning, even though it was nighttime. When he reached her apartment, he tapped on the window. He heard her say something about a bird and then she opened the curtains. The next thing he knew, she was in his arms. And he knew he was home.