By Vikster < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Submitted: February 2002
Summary: In this third story in the author's "Surprise" series, Lois and Clark's grandson, Chris, receives part of his family's legacy on his 16th birthday.
This is the sequel to Lois' Surprise and Jon's Surprise. As always, all comments are welcome.
Lara Kent sat on her couch, curled up reading her latest novel. She looked up as she heard a whoosh meaning either her brother, sister or father was home, but without the need to check she knew it was her sister Mara.
To look at Lara she would seem like an ordinary woman on the outside, but one look at her life would reveal a different story. Lara was part of a remarkable family. At one time the only thing remarkable to the world was the super powers she and the rest of her Kryptonian family possessed. But anyone who knew them knew it was the way they used these powers, their inner strength, and their kindness and goodness that were truly remarkable. But now, 51 years since the appearance of the original Superman, the Kent family have gained a little more power but in a slightly more human way. At the age of 29 Jon Kent married Sarah Olsen, Jimmy Olsen's daughter. Sarah, who had an even greater talent with computers than her father did, started up her own software company with the help of her husband, who had taken the family's writing talents one step further and become a novelist. Lara and Mara had also used their writing talents to earn a living. They, however, had stuck to reporting and taken over from their parents and become the best reporting team in the city. They had even managed to outdo their parents, winning a joint Pulitzer Prize at the age of 31, the youngest people ever to win that award. Lara and Mara had both married but you would never find one without the other. They shared a special bond, although they were not telepathic like their father had once thought; they had a connection that was beyond logic and was more spiritual.
After Sarah's company had started it became a huge success. It became the largest software company in the world and soon the young couple were the richest people in Metropolis. The Kent family was very close indeed; this was partly due to their secret and partly due to the incredible love they shared and the triplet bond that existed between the Kent children. Jon and Sarah bought a huge house and invited their parents, siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews to come and live with them and their kids and to share everything equally. The money also gave the family more security if their secret got out and someone wanted to use one of the human members of their family to try and control the "super" members.
The Kent family were soon known as the largest philanthropists in the world. They used their money wisely and never showed off, unlike some other billionaires Lois and Clark had once known.
Lois and Clark were now enjoying their retirement as both were in their mid-seventies. Clark had given over his Superman duties to his kids and he and Lois were spending their days taking care of their many grandchildren.
The occupants of their house consisted of Lois and Clark; Jimmy and his wife Penny; Jon and Sarah; Lara and her husband Mark; Mara and her husband Tom; Jon's children Lucy, who was 14, and Jamie, who was 13; Lara's daughter Sophie, who was also 14; and Mara's son Chris, who was almost 16.
Even though the size of the house was enormous, the family had agreed not to hire anyone to take care of it for them. This was partly because they were quite capable of looking after themselves and with a little bit of super power the house could be cleaned in minutes, but mostly because it was too dangerous for anyone other than family to live here in case they found out the family secret. This also meant that they were free to use their abilities without constantly having to watch their backs.
As the living room door opened Lara turned round and smiled at her sister. "Did you get it?" she enquired and widened her smile as she saw her sister producing something from the bag she had hidden behind her back.
Holding the suit in her hand Mara joined her sister's happy mood. "Did you really have any doubts, especially since it's for my own son?"
"No, I never doubted you for a second. But now we have the gift ready we have to plan how we are going to give it to him. After all, Chris' 16th birthday is a big event and giving him the family suit is an even bigger deal. Do you think he'll like the colours we picked out?"
"Lara, we've been through this. A blue-and-orange suit is perfect for Chris and I know he'll love it. Besides, why are you the one getting so worked up about it, he's *my* son for heaven's sake."
"Oh, will you stop it. Now, can we please get on and plan the party."
After two hours of trying to come up with ideas they both agreed on, they finally had the perfect party planned.
Chris woke up on his birthday and smiled. He always looked forward to his birthdays, though not because of the presents—he knew he could buy pretty much anything if he wanted to, any time, but rarely did. No, he liked birthdays because it brought his family even closer to one another and everyone was always in a good mood. Since no one had said anything about a party he thought they were going to surprise him. He loved surprise parties. The first one he ever went to was the party for Grandpa Clark when he had reached seventy.
Washing and dressing for school quickly he listened around the house to locate everyone else. Smiling to himself he found them all in the living room. As he entered everyone wished him a happy birthday and he was told he would get to open his presents after school tonight. Chris was sure they would have planned some sort of celebration but no one really seemed that interested.
It was the same at school. All his friends gave him their presents and wished him a happy birthday but that was it. No giggles when they thought he wasn't looking, no secret glances, nothing.
It was now the last period. Chris had given up on the chance his friends had planned anything and had finally concentrated on his work. All in all it hadn't been a bad birthday, but it hadn't been a particularly good one either.
Suddenly there was a voice over the speakers telling him the principal wished to see him. He could hear all the whispers and sympathetic glances directed his way and slowly got up, wondering what he could have possibly done to deserve this on his birthday.
As he entered her office a loud shrieking noise hit him. He immediately recognised it as the fire alarm. He couldn't smell any smoke so it could just be a drill but he also knew that his powers weren't that acute and the school was pretty large. He had to come up with an excuse to go check just in case there was a fire. At that moment he heard the vice-principal's voice coming over inter-com, telling everyone that there had been an explosion in one of the chemistry labs. No one was hurt and Superman had arrived at the scene to help out. Relieved that his uncle was there he felt there was little need for him to go and help and so followed the principal and her secretary out through the back door of her office.
The journey to the other side of the school where everyone else was took quite a few minutes. Chris walked in silence, hoping his uncle was able to put out the fire. Chris could hear the murmurings and whispers of everyone all huddled in one place. He could tell that their heartbeats were increased probably due to the fact they that had all had quite an experience and were worried about the damage. As they rounded the corner Chris saw the whole school there waiting to go back in. They were all unusually close together. All of a sudden they started to part and in the centre Chris saw his family. At that point everyone screamed "Surprise!" Hundreds of balloons were set off and the air filled with the sound of party poppers going off. In the sky Chris could see a plane smoking the words "Happy 16th Birthday Chris".
Chris was speechless. He had never had such big party and he realised how much trouble his family must have gone to, to get the whole school in on the surprise.
Drinks and refreshments were brought round and throughout the evening everyone celebrated. There were huge amounts of fireworks and Chris' big present was brought in, his first car, with his mom discreetly telling him there would be a more private present later on.
In was the best night of Chris' life. All his family and friends there to celebrate with him and everyone was having a fantastic time. Even Superman, Ultrawoman and Superwoman came for a quick visit while his mom, aunt and uncle conveniently stepped out.
The party went on throughout the night and by the time everyone had flown or driven home Chris was exhausted.
He sat in the living room with everyone crowding round him all with big grins on their faces, awaiting the arrival of Grandpa Clark. He didn't know what this big surprise was but he found it odd that it was his grandfather who was giving it to him, not his parents.
The door opened and everyone turned to stare as Clark came in with a large, flat box in his hands. Clark sat down next to his grandson.
"Chris, everyone thought it would be best for me to give you this gift. Now I didn't make it…"
*make it* thought Chris.
"…but they thought since it is my legacy that enables us to give it to you, your mom and aunt thought I should be the one to give it to you. Open it." Chris ripped the wrapping paper off and lifted the lid. He looked inside and saw bright orange-and-blue material. Lifting it out he found it to be a super suit with the El shield on the front. Behind it lay an orange cape. For the second time this evening he was speechless.
"I don't know what to say."
"Well that's a first," he heard Sophie whisper to Lucy. He shot a warning glare at her but she just innocently smiled back at him and the two girls tried to muffle their giggles.
Ignoring them, he continued. "It's perfect."
"Not quite," said his mother, "You still have to choose a name for yourself and decide when you wish to make your d‚but."
"Well," said Lois, "you're going to have a tough time beating your grandfather's. Swallowing a bomb in front of me and then flying a space shuttle into orbit is a pretty big appearance."
"Oh I don't know," chimed Lucy, "Chris always had a way of giving dramatic entrances. Why, I remember his first high school dance. He insisted in taking a limo."
While everyone else laughed, Chris ducked his head in embarrassment. "Yeah well, I was young and immature then."
"Then?" Jamie cut in.
Sarah, Jamie's mother, gave him a stern look and he tactfully closed his mouth and looked the other way.
Ignoring him Chris continued, "And I just wanted to fit in."
"Well, like I told you at the time," Clark said, "you don't have to show off to fit in. The best way to do that is to be yourself. Believe me, I learnt that from your grandmother; if I had been myself with her and told her about my "other half" it would have saved a lot of heartache."
The family continued laughing and talking well into the night but luckily for them it was a Friday and so they could all have a lie in, in the morning.