By Mary Potts AKA Queen of the Capes < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Submitted: February 2004
Summary: Clark's daughters present him with a very interesting question. Another story in the author's "Lara and Martha" series.
I'm going to pull a "Star Wars" here and post a story that took place before the other Martha and Lara stories. I have no idea what the rules are for this sort of thing, but hey, if Spielberg can do it, why not I?
The girls leaned on the windowsill, staring out into the still blackness of the night sky. On the wall behind them, a clock ticked on as though futilely trying to remind them that it was seventeen minutes past nine and they ought to be in bed.
After a long stretch of sitting and staring, Lara shook her sister's shoulder and pointed excitedly. "Look," she whispered, "I think I see it!"
"Where?" Martha asked.
"Over there! See it?"
Martha squinted at the beautiful streak of light that raced over the roof of the Metro building. She shook her head. "That's just a comet."
They went back to sitting and staring.
Lara heaved a sigh. "When's it ever gonna get here?"
"I dunno." Martha said. "Hey, is that it?"
Martha pointed. "There!"
"No, that's just Daddy."
They went back to sitting and staring.
Clark Kent, AKA Superman, was flying home from a late rescue when he noticed with surprise that a light was on and his daughters were looking out the window. Frowning, he flew up to the window and gently rapped on the pane. The girls opened it and let him in.
"Hi, Daddy!" They chirped.
Clark crossed his arms in front of him. "Lara, Martha, isn't it way past your bedtime? Why are you still up?"
Martha brushed a stray curl behind her ear. "Well," she said, "Mommy told us today that there was gonna be a new baby—"
"—and we were sitting up watching for it."
Clark smiled and shook his head. "Girls, the baby isn't going to be here for a very long—wait a minute. What do you mean you were watching for it?"
"Just what we said."
Lara looked up at her father and cocked her head. "Is it gonna look like the one you came in, or will it be different?"
Clark raised an eyebrow and tried to figure out just what they were talking about. Then, it dawned on him. "You two are sitting here watching for a rocket-ship?"
The girls nodded. "Uh-huh."
Clark laughed. He picked them up and carried them over to their bed. "Go to sleep, girls."
"But Daddy—" They protested.
"Girls, go to sleep. The baby isn't coming in a rocket- ship, I guarantee."
The twins climbed under the blankets and Clark tucked them in. Before he could leave, however, Martha grabbed his hand and pulled him back. "Daddy?"
Clark brushed his cape out of the way and sat on the edge of the bed. "What is it, Sweetheart?"
"If babies don't come in rocket-ships—"
"—then where do they come from?"
Clark's eyes widened.
"Hunh? Oh, babies. Um, yes—that's—a-a-ah…that's a very good question." He coughed. "Well, um, you see—" Oh, darn. How was he going to explain this? He cast a quick glance at his and Lois's bedroom, and his X-ray vision showed that Lois was sound asleep. So, he was on his own. Great.
He turned and looked back at the twins, who were watching him with intense curiosity. "Okay, babies. You see, girls, when a man and a wo—erm, when a mommy and a daddy love each other very much—" No, no, no! They were too young to know THAT! "Um, what I mean is—um, uh—There's this huge stork, see, and—" Oh, sure, LIE to them.
A bead of sweat appeared on his forehead. "Okay, when I was a kid on the farm, we had this cow, see, and one day the cow had kittens—I mean calves, and—er…" He swallowed. "Girlsthisisreallysomethingyoushouldaskyourmotherandwe'llte llyouwhenyou'reolder. Goodnight."
Clark stood up and walked to the door. As he reached for the light switch, the girls called him again.
The twins folded their arms. "If you don't know something, Daddy—"
"—Then just say so!"
Clark sighed and turned out the light. "Good night, girls."