By Abigail Jolie (email@example.com)
Summary: A story that follows Lois and Clark's oldest child as she struggles with the pain of losing a good friend.
[Author's Note: This story follows Lois and Clark's oldest child, Laura, as she struggles to let go of the pain caused by her best friend's death. Lois and Clark are not in it very much. So for those of you who like stories that star them, I'd stop here.]
I'd like to thank Gay Devlin for requesting this story, making some helpful observations and most of all *liking* it, just the things I needed to dig this up from my files, edit it and have enough backbone to send it to Rhen<g>. Thanks Gay! The standard disclaimers go here. Any comments can be sent to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Enjoy!
Laura Kent sat in mid-air, staring at her reflection in the mirror across from her bed so hard that she might have been able to look through it without her x-ray vision. She knew something was wrong, terribly wrong, but she had no idea what. It was driving her crazy.
Once again she scanned the rooms in the house, they were all empty of people except for the two bedrooms.
In one her mom slept alone, her dad had flown out earlier that night and was not back. Was he hurt? She prayed not. In the other bedroom Jordan and Kyle, Laura's three-year- old twin brothers, were snoring peacefully.
*Where are you, Daddy?* she asked silently. *Please come home.* A tear ran down her cheek, but she took the fact that her mom was sleeping and not also awake to mean that her dad was most likely safe. Her mom would be able to sense it if her dad were in any kind of danger, or at least Laura hoped she would.
Clark stood outside his daughter's bedroom door. Without using any powers he knew she was awake and waiting for him to return.
He mustered up all his strength. Why was he, the most powerful being on Earth afraid of an eight-year-old girl who only came up to his waist? He wasn't, he was afraid of what the news he carried would do to her. He didn't want to tell her, but he had to. Taking a deep breath Clark pushed open Laura's door.
There she was floating above her bed in one of her mother's beloved gray t-shirts, her shoulder length dark brown hair in a braid, staring at her mirror.
"Laura, sweetie?" he managed.
She was on him in an instant hugging him. "Oh Daddy, I thought you were hurt." she cried. "I've had this awful feeling all night, like something was wrong."
Clark stiffened slightly at her last remark.
She sensed it right away. "What's wrong, Daddy? What's happened?" she asked moving her face from his chest to look him in the eyes.
Just then Lois came into the room. "Hey, glad you're home." she said softly. She too knew something was wrong.
Clark turned to his wife and held out a hand which she took in hers and squeezed lightly. Then he looked at Laura.
"Laura, I have to talk to your mom and you need to swear you won't listen. Got it?"
Laura nodded and released him dropping to the floor. "Okay, but hurry." she pleaded. She desperately wanted to know what was happening.
Her parents left the room and she went over to her bed and curled up into a small ball.
Only her dad came back into her room about ten minutes later. He scooped her up and said, "Let's go into my and Mommy's room, okay…I have to tell you something."
When they reached her parent's room Clark set Laura on the bed where Lois lay. Her mom pulled her into the middle of the bed and her dad got in on the other side.
"Do I want to hear this?" Laura asked quietly.
"No…" said her mom.
"But you need to." her dad finished.
Laura was shaking all over, she didn't know what awful news her parents were about to tell her, but she knew it would change her life. Clark put his arm around her as Lois started. ***
Laura wasn't sure when she had first met Jamie, she only remembered knowing him all her life. He was her best friend, the only other child she ever played with, he understood her, knew about her powers and had never told anyone, not even his mom.
She had never thought about her life without Jamie, he was a part of her. And though no one knew, she was sure she would end up marrying him once they were older.
But now he was gone. Dead. Her father had found the Berke's family car at the bottom of a lake. Jamie, his mom Carley, his baby sister Miranda-Jane and his dad Morty had all been on a car trip to see his grandparents. Clark said the car must have swerved off the road and fallen into the lake.
It had taken four hours for Laura to fall asleep after her parents had told her. She was dreaming now, that she knew but she didn't care.
She was swimming down through dark thick water, then she saw Jamie just sitting at the bottom of the lake waiting for her. Laura reached out and took his hand, together they swam back to the surface.
"Where's my family?" he asked her.
"I'm sorry, Jamie, I could only save you." she said.
"Laura, I don't want to leave them. I have to go back." he said softly.
"No! Jamie. Don't leave. Please." she was crying now.
"I'm sorry, Laura, I love you but I have to go back. You'll be okay. Don't worry about me. I'm going to my family." With that he kissed her cheek and sunk back down into the dark water.
"No! Jamie!" she screamed.
Suddenly she was awake again, sitting up still screaming his name. She stopped and started sobbing uncontrollably. Her dad wrapped her in his strong arms.
"Shh, It's okay, sweetie." he said as he rocked her back and forth.
"Daddy, he left, he was back and he left me." she sobbed. "I just want to die and see him again."
"Laura!" Clark said sternly, then he softened his tone and added, "Don't say that. You know Jamie wouldn't want you to die just to be with him. Right?"
"I-I know…I know, Daddy. But he left me…he left me."
ONE MONTH LATER…
Lois and Clark stood in the kitchen talking. Lois held Kyle, and Jordan was hanging on to Clark's leg.
"Well, I just think that banker wasn't being totally truthful with us." she said.
"I know, Lois, but what would he know that's worth hiding?" Clark asked.
Just then the front door opened. Laura came in. She dropped her bag on the dinning room table, walked into the kitchen, kissed each of the four hello, opened the fridge, took out a soda, walked back to the table, and sat down to do her homework. She did all of this as if she were a robot and it was programmed into her. There was not feeling in any of it.
Lois and Clark looked at each other. They took the twins into their bedroom to put them down for their nap.
"Clark, I'm really starting to worry about her. She hasn't shown the slightest bit of feeling about anything since the Berkes died." Lois said as she changed Kyle for his nap.
"I know," said Clark. "it's like she's on auto-pilot."
"No nap!" said Jordan.
"Yes nap." said Lois.
"No Nap, No Nap!" both twins screamed.
Lois and Clark came out of the bedroom and saw the same thing they'd seen for the past month, Laura curled up in a tight ball on the couch. She was not crying, just sitting. The sight broke both their hearts. As they past her Clark patted her back.
"She gets that from me." Lois said, once they were in the kitchen. "I did the same thing when you were away on New Krypton." Clark put his arm around Lois's shoulder.
"What stopped you?" he asked.
"You came back." Lois said, looking up at him.
"Let's give her another week. Then we'll do something." Clark kissed Lois's head as he said this.
"But what?" Lois asked.
"I don't know." Clark said. ***
It was 3:20, Laura was ten minutes late coming home from school. Lois was worried. She was pacing in the dinning room while Clark put the twins to sleep.
She was about to call the school when Laura burst through the door carrying something bundled in her coat.
"Mom! Look what I found in the river!" she said, as she ran over to the table. She set her bundle down and unwrapped six tiny, very wet kittens.
"Oh, god. We need to dry them off." said Lois.
"And warm them up." Laura added.
"Okay, I'll get a basket and some towels and you can use your heat vision." said Lois. "On low, mind you." she smiled. So did Laura. Lois almost fell over, but ran to get the towels and basket instead.
It was 5:00, Laura sat in front of the fire burning warmly in the fire place with the six kittens in her lap. She was feeding one milk from a dropper as the vet had instructed her over the phone.
"Almost done?" came her dad's voice.
She turned her head and smiled. "Yep. He's the last one." she indicated the kitten that she was feeding.
"Have you thought of names yet?" Clark asked.
"You mean I can keep them?" asked Laura.
"Of course." said Lois, coming to sit with Clark on the couch.
Laura set the kittens in their basket and hugged her parents. Then she brought the basket to the couch.
"Yes, I have thought of names." she said and picked up a brown and black striped kitten. "This is Tabitha," she handed her to Clark, and picked up an all black one. "This is Morgan," she handed this one to Lois. "This brown one is Lucy," she said and gave the kitten to Clark. "This one who looks the same as Lucy is Lois." she said and set the kitten down.
"How do you tell those two apart?" asked Clark.
"Because Lois is always sticking her nose in things." Laura said with a big smile.
"Hey!" Lois said, but she couldn't help smiling too.
Clark just laughed.
"Okay, now for the boys," Laura picked up a black one with brown feet. This is Clark." she set the kitten down. "He chases Lois everywhere."
Now it was Lois who laughed. "What about the last one? He's very handsome." she asked.
Laura picked up the golden kitten. "This one is Jamie." she said, still smiling. "See, he's got hair just like Jamie's was." she held the kitten close and smiled again. "He's my favorite."
"I like Lois." both Lois and Clark announced. All three people burst out laughing. ***
After about seven weeks, three trips to the vet and a large amount of money, the six kittens became a part of life at the Kent household.
Tabitha,(who was called Tabs now) Morgan, and Lucy spent their time together sunning in the widows or trying to take food from the twins. Lois (the cat) got into everything and Clark (the cat) followed her. Jamie (the cat) spent the time that Laura was at school waiting near the door and followed her when she was home.
The kittens, Jamie especially, helped Laura heal from the initial pain of Jamie the person's death.
8 YEARS LATER…
Jordan Kent sat in the living room of his house, reading a mystery novel in his favorite green chair. It was 9:45, his parents were out with his aunt Lucy and uncle Jimmy. His twin brother Kyle, was on a camping trip with his friends. And his older sister Laura, was on a date. That meant he had the house to himself. Unless you count the six cats, which he didn't.
He heard the jiggle of keys and his sister's voice from outside the door and shut his book.
"So, Jake. I had a wonderful time. We should do this again." came Laura's voice followed by a male voice Jordan had never before heard. "Totally! How about Friday?"
"That sounds good. I'll see you tomorrow at school, maybe we can decide what to do over lunch?" said Laura.
"That's cool with me." said the other voice.
Jordan sensed what was coming next. He got up and went to the door.
"Okay then, bye." Laura's silhouette could be seen standing on tiptoe to kiss her date.
Jordan pulled the door open quite quickly. "Hey, sis! Glad to see you're home, wouldn't want to break that curfew now would we?" he said smiling at Laura and the boy next to her.
Laura rolled her eyes. "Hi Jordan. This is Jake, Jake this is my *very* annoying little brother, Jordan."
"Cool, as in Michael?" said Jake.
"No." said Jordan. "Come on, sis, I want to show you something." he pulled Laura in the house. "Nice meeting you, Jake, Bye!" with that he shut the door.
Laura walked over to the dinning room table where she set her purse down. Then she spun on her brother. "Jordan, what is wrong with you?!" she yelled.
Jordan smiled. "Sorry, sis. Couldn't help it. So who is this Jake? I've never heard you talk about him before."
Laura rolled her eyes again. If Jordan was so interested in her social life, why did he ruin her dates like that? "He's Kendra Delaney's twin brother. He lives in Florida with their dad, but he's visiting Kendra and their mom for a month."
"So he'll be gone in a month?" asked Jordan.
"Yes, but he's here now and he's nice. If he lived here in Metropolis he'd be perfect." Laura said.
"Right!" said Jordan. "I'll bet if he lived in Metropolis you wouldn't go out with him because there would be a chance for a real relationship!"
"What's that supposed to mean?" said Laura.
"Laura, since you started high school you've only gone out with guys who you know will leave you." said Jordan a little louder.
"That's not true." said Laura.
"Yes it is." said Jordan. "Why don't you try a real relationship for once in your life? I mean, Laura, you don't even have close friends."
"You're acting like Mom and Dad now!" Laura looked at him angrily. "Besides, I *had* a best friend. He died!" with that she turned and ran to her room slamming its door.
Jordan sat down and ran his fingers trough his black hair. A minute later he stood up and went to Laura's bedroom door. "Lor, I'm sorry. I know Jamie dying really hurt, but you've got to realize not everyone dies like he did."
"How would you know?" came Laura's voice. "It's never happened to you."
Jordan sighed. That was true. It had never happened to him, but Laura had to learn to take chances again or she'd go through the rest of her life dating jerks or exchange students. He just wished he could help.
8 YEARS AFTER THAT…
Laura's alarm beeped loudly, pulling her out of dreamland. She tried to open her eyes but there was something warm and fuzzy laying on her face.
"Mmph, Jamie don't lay on my head!" she grumbled as she pushed the cat off her face. Maybe she should have left him with her parents and the five other cats, instead of bringing him to Gotham. She shook her head and stood up.
Showering, dressing, fixing breakfast and putting out food for Jamie at super-speed Laura was ready for work in five minutes.
She had worked for The Gargoyle for two years, since she graduated Gotham U. She was a natural reporter and had lots of practice from the time she had spent at the Daily Planet when she was a teenager. She was the Gargoyle's star reporter and as good as her parents. ***
"Hey, Laura, Allison wants to see you." called Marty, who was the editor's gopher.
"Thanks, Marty." Laura said and headed for Allison's office. It was six in the evening on a Friday, Laura figured Allison wanted to fill her in on the stories for the weekend edition of the Gargoyle. Boy, was she wrong. ***
"Coming!" called Jordan. Whoever was at the door was knocking very loudly. On his was he tripped over Morgan. "Watch it, Morg!" he said. He opened the door and his sister almost ran him over.
"It took you long enough! Is mom here? I really need to talk to her."
"Hello to you too, Laura. No, she's out with Dad and Kyle." said Jordan.
"Oh, well, do you know when she'll be back?" Laura asked.
"No, probably soon though. Is something wrong?" he looked concerned.
"Well, yes!" she started. "Oh, Jordan, Allison wants to pair my up with this new guy coming from Hawaii, he grew up there and well, he's a surfer boy! I don't want a partner." she whined.
Jordan looked at his sister. "Laura, are you joking?"
"No!" she cried.
He burst out laughing.
"Why are you laughing? This is *not* funny." she said.
"Hello, Laura? What story does this sound a *lot* like?" he was still laughing.
"What? What do you mean? I don't know any story this sounds li-Jordan! This is *way* different than Mom and Dad." she yelled.
"Oh," said Jordan. "you're right. I mean Mom thought Dad was a *farm boy* not a *surfer boy* and…Well, that's it, that's the only difference." he looked straight at her and raised his eyebrows, daring her to think of another difference.
She flopped down on the couch.
"Laura, what if this guy is your soul-mate or something. Just keep an open mind, huh?" said Jordan, sitting down next to her.
"I had a soul-mate all ready; it's not my thing." she muttered.
"Listen, I love you and you've got to let go of that. It was a long time ago." he said.
"Jordan." she sat up. "You've never had someone you love die. It hurts and time means nothing in the face of that."
"What about Grandma?" he said. "I loved her a lot. She died."
Laura rubbed her temples. "It was different with Jamie."
"No, it wasn't! Look, Laura, you knew Jamie; I didn't, but do you think he would want you distancing yourself from people just because of him?" asked Jordan.
"I do not distance myself from people!" she said defensively.
"Oh, really?" he asked and raised his eyebrows. "Did you ever have another best friend after Jamie? No. Were you ever in a relationship with a guy for more than a month? No. Did you ever…"
"Okay!" said Laura, interrupting him.
Just then the front door opened and Lois, Kyle and Clark came in laughing.
Lois saw Laura first. "Laura!"
Laura stood up and hugged her parents and Kyle.
"Hey!" said Jordan. "They *all* get hugs and you didn't even say 'Hello' to me?" he stuck out his bottom lip.
Laura hugged Jordan.
"Well it's a good thing you're here Lor," said Kyle. "Now we can have a nice big family dessert."
"Something chocolate." Laura and Lois said together and they all laughed.
It was 10:30, Laura and her family sat in the living room talking. She sat on one end of the couch. Her father sat at the other, with her mother in his lap. Kyle was on the floor. Morgan lay on his back with Tabs and Lucy near by. Jordan sat in the large green chair next to the couch. Lois (the cat)was in his lap and Clark (the cat) was on the floor.
This was her family; she loved them all very much. *See,* she told herself. *You've got all the love you need right here. Who needs any more?* ***
Laura walked into the Gargoyle's newsroom and headed for her desk. Normally she would have gone straight to Allison's office but she saw the man in it and knew he was her new "partner". She was not eager to meet him.
"Kent!" called Allison from her office door. "Get in here now!"
"Coming, let me just get some coffee!" she yelled back.
"No!" yelled Allison "I said *Now* Kent!"
Laura knew there was no more stalling to be done she headed off to the office of Allison Marks, the editor The Gargoyle.
When Laura entered the office and got a first hand look at the newcomer she felt very sick. He looked almost the same as Jamie would have, with his golden hair and deep blue eyes. He was wearing khaki pants and a white shirt with a banded collar (the kind you can't wear ties with). It's top button was undone. He was *very* handsome.
"Laura, this is Ethan Miles." Allison's voice brought her back to the present. "Ethan, this is Laura Kent, The Gargoyle's star reporter. I'm pairing you two up for a few stories, until you get the hang of things."
Ethan stood and held out his hand to Laura. He thought she was breathtakingly beautiful. Her dark brown hair was up in a French twist. She was wearing navy blue knee length pleated skirt. Her short sleeved blouse was cream colored silk and looked great against her skin. And those legs!
It was 7:30, Laura and Ethan were at Laura's apartment eating Indian from the Kent's favorite place *in* India; of course Ethan didn't know that. They poured over files for their first assignment together.
"God, this is wonderful! Where'd you get it from?" Ethan said.
Laura smiled. It was the first time he'd seen her smile. He dropped the piece of food he held.
"Oh, just a little place I know." Laura said.
There was a knock on the door. Ethan stood and opened it. Lois Lane and Clark Kent stood on the other side.
"Jamie?!" said Lois, she looked as if she were seeing a ghost.
"No, Mom. This is Ethan Miles. He's my new partner at the Gargoyle. We were just going through some files. Why don't you come in?" said Laura quickly.
Ethan moved out of the door and the two came in.
"Your partner?" said Clark.
After Ethan left, Lois turned to Laura. "He looks just like Jamie!" she said.
"I know," said Laura, as she sat down at the table. "and he's really nice and smart and all that good stuff." she sounded very unhappy.
"So what's the problem then?" asked Clark.
"I'm not ready for this. I don't want this." Laura cried.
Lois looked at her and raised her eyebrows.
"Mom, I just…I mean…I always thought.. Jamie was.."
"Laura," said Lois. "He's dead. He has been for sixteen years, it's time to let go."
"I know Mom, I just don't know how." Laura said.
ONE WEEK LATER…
Laura and Ethan had been working on their story all week it had led down to this, their first stake out.
"Laura?" said Ethan.
"Yeah?" she looked up from the file she was reading.
"Who's Jamie?" he asked.
Laura had not expected this. She took a sharp breath. "No one." she said unconvincingly.
"Laura, I've known you a week and I know you're lying. You ought to work on that." said Ethan with a smile.
"I should warn you. If I tell you I'll most likely be crying in no time." she said.
His tone became comforting. "That's okay."
"Are you sure?" she almost whispered.
"Yes, go ahead," he nodded.
"Well…He was…he was my best friend for the first eight years of my life. He knew everything about me. I knew everything about him. I truly loved him. H-he was like my other half." the tears started running down her face.
Ethan sat down next to her on the couch and put his hand on her shoulder. "Was?" he said.
"Y-yes he…he d-died when he was nine. I only eight." The tears poured, but it felt good to talk about him after all these years.
"How'd he die?" asked Ethan.
Laura told him everything, how Jamie died, what it felt like, how she closed herself off from the world. She told him more than she had ever told anyone. ***
Laura landed in the small graveyard that she had not been to for sixteen years. She still remembered where his grave was though.
As she approached it she saw the neat lettering that read :
BELOVED SON AND FRIEND TO ALL.
She sat down next to the stone and brushed her fingers across his name. "Well, Jamie, this is it. I've waited sixteen years; you never came back. You never will. I know that now. I don't know why it took me so long. I guess it's because we never said 'goodbye', you know? You just left." Tears rolled down Laura's cheeks.
"But, I can't wait any longer. I promise I'll never forget you. I love you still, Jamie."
She stood up and pulled a daisy out of her purse. "I don't know if you remember, but you gave me a daisy once. It was a present for my seventh birthday. You said it was the only thing you could find that was half as special and beautiful as me." she lay the daisy down on the grave.
She ran her hand over his name again and then straightened herself. "Goodbye."
CHRISTMAS OF THE NEXT YEAR…
The sounds of laughing people filled the night air around the Kent house. Hand in hand Laura and Ethan rung the doorbell.
Lucy answered the door. "Oh, Laura you're here! Hey, everyone Laura and her boyfriend are here!" she yelled.
Laura and Ethan entered the house and were greeted by; Laura's uncle, Jimmy, her Mother and Father, Kyle and his girlfriend Angie, Jordan and his fiancee' Gwen, Jimmy and Lucy's children, Megan, Christy, Jodie and Jack and Perry White, who had become a sort of grandfather to all the kids, and five cats. Laura introduced Ethan to everyone and they sat down for dinner.
It was 11:45, The Lane-Olsen children, who were all under eleven, had been put to bed. Perry had gone home. The rest of the adults sat around the big living room. Lois and Clark were in the middle of telling a story about the twin's disliking of naps when they were little. Everyone was laughing frequently.
The scene was stereotypical of the Christmas season.
Laura was sitting between Ethan's legs on the floor, his back was against the wall next to the fireplace. She had a perfect view of one of the end tables next to the couch.
On it sat four pictures; one of Lois holding the twins just after they were born, one of Clark holding her when she was a baby, the next of the twins when they were ten, sitting in the middle of the six cats, and the last photo was of her and Jamie, they were playing Checkers in front of the fire place.
Laura remembered playing that game. It was three weeks before he died. She had said she won, he thought he was the rightful winner, but they had not fought instead they had played another game to determine the winner. Jamie had won.
Laura smiled, the exact same thing had happened with her and Ethan about a week before, only she had won the deciding game.
She squeezed Ethan's hand, which she held in her own.