Big Girls Do

By Klair El <>

Rated G

Uploaded January 2000

Summary: From the Kent Collection of "The Martha Papers." What does a granddaughter of Clark Kent do about her daughter? Well, she's a granddaughter of Lois Lane, too. Fly and cry? Big Girls Do!

Author's Notes:

First and foremost, the author is grateful to on-line FoLC for their fellowship through lists, fiction, IRC, in person, and more. This includes a special thank you to FoLC for help with writing, in particular: Chris M., for her skill, patience and kindness; my son, Jeff, for his support and assistance; Dana B. for her encouragement and help; Chief Pam for the flogging-um, response to the tale; Peggy M. for her interest; Irene D. for the aura concept, and Karen Ward for her excellent and patient editing.

Second, there is a theory that certain features of Metropolis are modeled on the city of Toronto in Canada. This story expands the borrowing, adding to Metropolis the ravines that wind through Toronto. These flood plain riverbeds have been turned into wonderful parks.

Third, this story has a large number of em dashes and ellipsis, about which there are always questions. When Martha came and told me the story, my transcription felt like a very verbal piece of writing, and therefore needed the pauses of speech actually physically inserted. For this purpose, an ellipsis…indicates uncertainty, trailing speech; whereas an em dash—indicates a dramatic pause, usually rising from Martha's reaction to the events.

Fourth, all italics are marked by *italics,* all bold is marked _bold._

Big Girls Do

One of "The Martha Papers"


From time to time, papers from The Kent Collection are published by the University Press of Utopia University and University of Metropolis. We hope you enjoy this popular excerpt. For the convenience of those who don't recall their Kent Family History, a rough family tree is added at the end of the excerpt. Watch for other *Martha Papers.*

Journal of Martha Hale Kent Grove, Excerpt: May 12, 2077

My daughter had a good day today, "in spite of school!" While we were grabbing a snack and putting on the supper, she told me about it. Her long, dark hair flowed with the movements of her head. If she weren't so tall like her father, she'd look much like Nana Lois did when Grampa Clark first came to work at the Daily Planet.

At first, I had a little trouble paying attention to Ellen's story. Things had been very hectic at the Daily Planet. I was busy all day, and it hadn't stopped. The assistant editor assigned to my story had called me at home to clarify a few details. This wasn't good. My editor is also my dear husband, Grant. At least he apologized for being held up at the office.

Dinner would be late, I thought glumly, looking over the garden as I washed some vegetables. Normally, the sight of our snug little garden comforts and cheers me. Our yard is secluded and private, while the ravine running by our house makes our grounds look larger. But this evening, staring across the vegetable seedlings on the sill just reminded me of how far behind I was with my May plantings. Focusing on the window's reflection of the kitchen wasn't much more cheerful. Somehow, no matter where I looked, there was something I was behind on doing. My husband tells me I try to do too much, but I *like* doing all these things. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

My blues didn't last long. Ellen could distract me from anything, and her day had given her plenty of material. Her recap was a riot; words are never enough for Ellen. She always paces and gestures when she talks, and if, like today, she's really excited, she positively capers. There's never a moment when she's completely still. The restlessness hadn't started with puberty. Before long, she had me giggling with her—until it happened.

I'm sure my face fell; there was no time to cover up my emotions. My only hope is that all she saw was my astonishment. Surely, that was enough to account for her startled jerk when she turned to look at me. Poor thing, she lost her balance…and put her elbow through the wall.

By then, I had some kind of control: I didn't cry.

For a moment, Ellen froze, staring at her arm in the hole. I calmly told her, "You'll need some help with that repair. Why don't you just step outside and yell for Superman?"

"Oh, Mom," she said, dismayed at the after-effects of her casual gesture. "You're forever telling us not to bother Uncle Jon."

"This won't be a bother. Just do as I say." I had hoped Grampa Clark would come, but I didn't doubt Ellen knew whom she was calling. Learning the Superman secret is a rite of passage in our family. Ever since she discovered the truth, Ellen has kept track of which man was on Super duty on any given day.

Opening the door brought her back to earth. She went dragging outside and gave a sort of half-hearted bellow. Of course, Jon was there immediately. My brother's always tuned into family, just like Dad, and Grampa before him. Even my nephew, Jon's son, Sam, is getting good at that sort of thing. He's a few years older than Ellen.

"What's the problem, honey?" I heard him ask, but her reply was muffled. From the look on his face when he came through the door, though, I knew he'd x-rayed first. Jon looks so much like Grampa Clark, especially in the cape, that I nearly lost control. Fortunately for me, I didn't have to say a thing. Jon could learn what else he needed to know from the angle of entry. There was no need for me to mention she'd been airborne at the time. Ellen probably didn't tell him; I don't think she knew—yet.

"Hi, Martha," he said to me, without a glance at the hole. "Ellen and I'll take care of this. Why don't you go see Mom? She's been asking about you. We'll join you there later."

I managed to say the right things and get myself out of the room without breaking down. Breaking down outside wasn't an option, either. Ellen was probably tuned in to family, too. For a moment, I stood looking at our quiet residential neighborhood, so close to downtown, yet safe and roomy. Grand, mature trees overhung the quiet streets. Tidy gardens surrounded the old, elegant houses. Metropolis, and the Daily Planet, had fought hard to protect these pockets of urban homes, the source of the central city's vitality.

From the moment that Grant and I saw our home, we knew it was perfect for concealing the comings and goings of my super relatives. Now it would protect our daughter's…movements. The very thought was enough to summon tears, so I turned to my car. Even letting tears slide silently down was too risky; when I do it, sobs are sure to follow. Containing the tears was an achievement. I am, after all, a granddaughter of our Nana Lois, more widely known as Lois Lane Kent. Her tears are so…beautiful. Mine can be so blotchy and noisy.

Somehow, I drove. Not that I have trouble driving. I do it a lot, just like I walk and run a lot. My grandfather flies. My father flies. My brother flies. My *nephew* flies! They have the super gene. They have it intact. It hasn't diminished from Grampa Clark to nephew Sam.

The gene and its powers never showed up in me. I was the only blood relative of Grampa Clark who did not become a Super- person. For years, we had postulated that my sex made the difference. After all, although they only married into the family, I'm just like all the Kent women—all the women until now, at least. It's hard to count Ellen as a woman, not a girl.

The point is, I don't fly. I make my way along the ground like some kind of grub.

Flight. Like a migration of butterflies, the Supermen dart around above us, fluttering their bright blue, yellow and red. Most people only dream of joining them. For me, it was an expectation: one day my violet, pink and teal would unfurl, waving slowly, gaining strength in the sun.

Only, they didn't.

My time came…and went. My relatives flitted. I crawled.

In my typical fashion, I grubbed all the way to Hyperion, and parked my car.

Mom and Dad have given up their place in the burbs and taken a townhouse right next to Dad's parents. They can keep an eye on them this way. Not that Nana Lois and Grampa Clark need much watching; I mean, they do take care of themselves. But things are always happening to them. Still! Some people just live life more…episodically.

As I walked to the house, I tried not to think of the box. The one that held the outfit I had never needed; those clothes would be Ellen's now, her Ultra Woman wings.

Disciplining my thoughts, I recalled various conversations with my Kent Grandparents over the years. Grampa Clark often said nothing was as important to his happiness as his marriage with Nana Lois, even before Dad arrived. He was reassuring, but it was Nana Lois who helped me move past the shock of being normal. She informed me very firmly that nothing, not even a super deficiency, was going to limit a woman, particularly a female in *her* family. In many ways, I owe to her my good career, happy marriage and lovely daughter.

Anyhow, I went to ring Mom's bell, but somehow, I punched Nana's instead. Nana Lois came to the door herself. Some people say that the same actress could play both of us. The only difference is my slight height advantage, and the number of silver streaks in the brown. She's remarkably young and beautiful, great- grandmother of teenagers though she is. Some in our family think auras retard aging, and I'm sure it's true. Still, I agree with Grampa Clark; Nana Lois has something special, all of her own.

I could see evidence of work, but Grampa Clark wasn't there. My fleeting thought was that they'd been writing, and Grampa was probably out either clearing up some fine points of the story, or picking up chocolate to help her think. This conclusion didn't take a moment. Lane and Kent still do free lance investigations for the Planet. They'll never completely retire.

That they would have prepared for my visit—never occurred to me. Of course, they knew how difficult it was to have a child with the responsibility of super powers thrust upon them. At the same time, Nana Lois guessed there was another problem as well. She knew me better than I knew myself.

Nana took one look at me and grabbed me in one of her great big hugs. I loved them when they used to smoother me. Now, I have to lean down to bury my head in her shoulder, and believe me, I buried.

She didn't start in on me, or anything, just brought me in, sat me down, and handed me a cream soda. These days, she keeps them in a little fridge under her desk. I never see a cream soda without thinking of her.

After a swig or two, I managed to clear my throat. Nana looked at me expectantly. In one of those crystal clear moments of understanding, I realized why Grampa Clark wasn't there, not even with chocolate. Now was the time to talk. I was really proud of how steady my voice was. My imitation of textbook vocabulary probably helped.

"The proof's conclusive. The super gene remains intact, even after lying dormant for a generation. Furthermore, despite previous evidence, the super gene *can* completely manifest itself in females."

Nana Lois put her hand on my arm. "Oh, Martha," was all she said. That was when I put my head on her shoulder and sobbed. For a long time, I cried. Some of the tears were for my daughter, the butterfly.


If you have problems with the end of this excerpt, please watch for more of "The Martha Papers"

Appendix: Genealogy Jonathan Kent b. married Martha Clark b. Child: Clark Kent b. abt 1966, adopted 5/66, presumed to have been born 2/66, but in the tradition of the Superman birth on the 29th of February, there is nothing to discount the possibility that he was born on Feb 29, 1964 and shipped to earth in a slow growth stasis which made it appear that he had been born in February, 1966. Continue below for Clark Kent.

Sam Lane b. married Ellen Lane b.


Lois Lane b. 1967

Lucy Lane b. after 1967

Continue below for Lois Lane.

Clark Kent b. 1966 married 1996 ages 30, 29 Lois Lane b. 1967


Lane Kent b. 1998 married 2019 ages 21 & 19 Harriet Hale b. 2000


Jon & Martha

Listed below as First Born and Second Born.

1. First Born:

Jonathan Hale Kent b. 2022 married Sara Samuel b.


Samuel Lane Kent b. 2065

2. Second Born:

Martha Hale Kent b. 2030 married 2060 ages 30 & 34 Grant Grove

b. 2026


Ellen Kent Grove b. 2068

In 2077, Martha is 47; Ellen is 11; Lois & Clark are 110 & 111.

In 2080, Martha is 50; Ellen is 14; Lois & Clark are 113 & 114.

Any feed back accepted.

klair El

Disclaimer: DC comics owns Superman, and Warner Bros. owns the rights to all characters in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. ission is freely given to copy this document for personal use. (c) the author: August, 1999.