What a Fish Sees

By Anna Botsakou <abotsakou@in.gr>

Rated G

Submitted June 2004 Summary: In this sequel to the Botsakou, Anna's "What A Fish Knows," Kay the goldfish observes the planning and executing of a birthday party by Lois and Clark's oldest daughter, Nicole, for her younger brother, Andrew.

This is the sequel of my story 'What A Fish Knows' (http://www.lcfanfic.com/stories/2003/whatfish.txt). I recommend that you read the first story first, or you'll have to spend a few pages trying to figure out who is who.

First of all, a big thank you to Wanda Detroit for BRing this and for providing me with encouraging feedback. Thanks also to the readers on Zoomway's and on the fanfic boards for their feedback, to Saskia and James for some useful observations, and to the FoLCs from #loisclark for tolerating and answering my endless vocabulary questions. Another thank you to Kathy Brown. She had commented on two threads on the fanfic boards (http://www.lcficmbs.com/cgi- bin/boards/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=9;t=000127 and another I can't find) that today's kids have weird names, thus giving me the idea to use a few weird names for some kids.

Last but not least, a thank you to Jana, because she believed me when I said I had had this idea before she posted her 'Fishy Story' and encouraged me to go on with it :)

Happy reading!


>=> >=> >=> WHAT A FISH SEES >=> >=> >=>



Remember me? I'm Kay. The goldfish. The one that lives with the Kents.

Of course you remember me. How could you forget me?

Sorry for remaining silent for such a long time. But you know how it is… In this house every day something new happens, and I hadn't had the time to get in touch with you. But today I just had to. It's Andrew's birthday, and the whole family is getting ready for the big party that starts in a couple of hours.

Oh, there he is, going down the stairs. I know that look. He's going to call 'Mom!' in the angriest tone he possesses.


Ha! I knew it.

And here's Lois, coming out of the kitchen. She's baking Andrew's birthday cake. There's a story behind that cake you just have to hear, but, if you don't mind, let's see first what Andrew wants.

"What is it?"

"My favorite shirt is dirty!"

Lois is trying to appear calm, although I know that deep inside she wants to scream, 'Put on another shirt and let me bake that darned cake!'

"I'll wash it another time, Andrew, I'm very busy right now. Go put on another one," is what she finally says.

He's getting furious. But he just grumbles 'all right' and goes back to his room. Lois returns to the kitchen.

Now, what? Oh yes, I have to tell you the story about the birthday cake.

Well, Lois and Clark had a very interesting… discussion on this topic. They were here, in the living room, listing everything they'd need for the party. Clark said they should also order a cake. And that's when it all started.

"No need to, Clark, I'll bake one."


You should've been there, it was hilarious seeing their faces: Clark's, confused and stunned, and Lois's, really unpleased.

"What? You think I can't bake a cake?"

"No, no, honey, it's just that… you've never tried it."

"It can't be that difficult! Besides, I've improved very much in cooking since we got married!"

That one had me laughing my tail off. Clark was trying hard not to laugh, too. Poor Lois, she can cook a few things that can be eaten, but you surely can't trust her with a birthday cake.

"Haven't I?" she demanded then.

Clark couldn't speak. He was nervous, almost shaking. You know, he hates both lying and hiding the truth. But in that case… telling the truth wasn't an option. You know Lois.

Lois's face suddenly turned serious. "I haven't?" she asked again.

Clark remained silent.

"Why didn't you tell me?"

He hesitated to answer. "It's not that important, Lois… Most times I do the cooking, and, besides, you haven't burnt anything in years! You cook… well enough."

"I'll have to practice more…" she said to herself.

"Okay, honey," Clark said, and hugged her. "Start with Andrew's cake."

"You want him to hate me?"

"No, Lois, you'll do fine."

"I won't…"

"Hey! Where's your self-confidence? You'll make a wonderful cake."

"You think?"

"Yeah. It will be great."

"Thanks, Clark…"

"Of course, I'll have to buy one too, just in case…"


"I'm just kidding!"

Kidding or not, he did buy a cake, and asked for Perry to keep it in his fridge so that he could go and pick it up if it was needed. No need to say, Lois doesn't know anything about that. Don't tell her.

Oh, look! Nicole just came home. She was at Will's house. Before you ask, Will is a girl, and she's Nicole's best friend. She lives just a couple of minutes away.

Lois must've heard her because she hurries out of the kitchen. "Nicole! Finally. Get dressed and begin organizing the party."

Uh-oh… Big mistake.


"You know, see what the kids are going to play, when the cake is going to be cut, stuff like that."

Big, big, BIG mistake.

"*I* am going to do that?"

"Sure, who else? You're the big sister. Besides, we won't be here."

HUGE mistake.

"Where will you be?"

"We're going to the Whites. We figured that Andrew wouldn't appreciate me and your father hanging around. But you two are capable of managing without us for a few hours, and there's always the telephone in case of emergency."

COLOSSAL mistake.

Nicole opens her mouth but closes it again without saying anything. She takes a breath and her eyes sparkle. "Fine! I'm going to get dressed," she says, and heads to her room.

Lois, content, goes back to the kitchen. She is completely unaware of the disaster she just provoked.

You know, if it wasn't for Andrew, Nicole would go to Mahogany's party. Silly name, isn't it? Anyway, he's a boy she doesn't like at all, but she really wanted to be there because Dean would be there too. Dean is Mahogany's best friend and Nicole's wanna-be-boyfriend. Yes, I know they're hardly ten years old yet, but nowadays kids start flirting early. Of course, when I say 'flirting' don't think anything heavy… He offers her chocolate, he talks to her all the time, stuff like that. And… it was a nice opportunity for her. She had bought a very nice dress, too. Well, I haven't seen that dress yet, but she does have good taste in clothing.

The biggest problem is that she just lost this opportunity due to Andrew. Not that she doesn't love Andrew, he's her brother, after all, but she's jealous of him because of his superpowers. She always felt kinda 'less', despite her being the first child.

Oh, here comes Tommy. He wants to talk to me, I guess.

"Hey, Kay," he says.

Hey, Tommy!

"Am I bothering you?"

Not at all! I always like talking to you!

"Well, I guess that's a silly question because I know you like talking to me. Well, I wanted your opinion on something."


"You know that Mom and Dad and Laura Ellen are going to visit Mr. Perry and Mrs. Alice tonight. Mom said I could stay here for the party because I'm old enough, but I'm not sure. I don't know any of these kids."

That's not true! You know most of the boys! They come here often!

"Well, the truth is I know most of the boys because they come here often, but… I'm not sure I wanna stay."

If you don't wanna stay, tell your parents to take you with them. They won't have a problem with it.

"I don't think my parents will have a problem if I tell them I want to go with them. Maybe I should just tell them."

Yeah, go tell them!

"You agree? Great. Thanks." He runs to the kitchen.

It's not very obvious to you humans, but I'm smiling. Judging by how Clark is now, I bet Tommy is just like him when he was his age. Just as I bet that Nicole is like Lois when she was her age. Andrew is a lot like his mother too, and Laura Ellen… well, she's only three years old, but it seems like she has her father's character.

Oh, there he comes again, happily grinning. "She's letting me go with them!"

Oh, that's nice!

"Isn't it nice? Well, I'm going to get dressed."

I'm alone again, and I'm wondering what Nicole is up to. She must be planning some way to ruin Andrew's party effectively, but carefully enough in order to get away with it. She's just like her mother, as I told you.

Which reminds me… You may wanna hear this, as there's nothing else going on around here at the moment. And it's totally true. Some of the story I heard Clark telling his mother on the phone. And the rest I watched on the TV. There is one in this room and it is in a convenient place for me to watch.

A few months ago, someone named Claude Leroit joined the Daily Planet staff. Rejoined is the right word, actually, because he worked for that paper many years ago, even before Clark was hired. For the record, Clark has been working for the Daily Planet for 16 years. He's 42, but believe me, he's still very, very handsome, or, as my sister 0054 would say, 'totally hot'. Must be the Kryptonian genes. You remember that I told you he's actually Superman, don't you? Lois doesn't look all that bad herself, actually she's totally hot too. And that's my own opinion, not my sister's.

Anyway, I think I'm getting off track. Well, that Claude guy, when he first worked for the Daily Planet, had taken advantage of Lois. He slept with her, then stole her story and presented it as his. And won a Kerth for it.

When he joined again, Lois thought this was her chance to pay him back and was trying to figure out the best way to do it. The perfect opportunity came when she and Clark were interviewed on TV by Whitney Dawson, a famous TV reporter, in honor of their joint Pulitzer record. They won three joint Pulitzers in one year!

So, well, they went to the show. Dawson began asking stuff, and at some point she asked them if there was something they wouldn't do for a Pulitzer story. I quote Lois the exact way she said the words:

"Well, Whitney… When I was still fresh in the Planet I had a crush on one of the reporters, and at the same time was researching a gun-runners story. He found out both of these things, he claimed to love me, slept with me, then stole my story, passed it off as his and won a Kerth for it. This I wouldn't do, not even for a Pulitzer."

Clark said that after that, Claude went back to France. But that wasn't Lois's fault, right? She didn't mention names, dates or the particular story. What was his problem?

Ah… She's a very smart woman. I admire her.

It's only regarding her kids when she gets a bit… how can I put it… inexperienced! Yeah, that's the word. I mean, you'd expect her to understand that Nicole wouldn't want to play the clown for Andrew's party. But Nicole is her first daughter, her first kid, Lois doesn't always know how to handle her. It's understandable, on second thought.

Now, the problem is, what is Nicole planning? I have a bad feeling.

Oh, speaking of her, here she comes. She looks fantastic. She is wearing a deep purple dress. Not a Deep Purple dress, as in a dress with the Deep Purple band on it, but a deep purple dress nonetheless.

You don't think that Lois has passed her babbling mode to me, do you?

Anyway, this must be the new dress she bought, for I hadn't seen her wearing it before.

Okay, let's focus on Nicole. She's up to something. She looks around carefully, picks up the phone and dials a number.

"Hello, Mrs. Kandell, is Will there? … Thank you very much. … Will, hey! … No, no. Look, there's a better idea. … Look, my mother just told me I can't go to Mahogany's because I have to stick here with my brother and his friends. … Yeah, I know. So, here's what I thought: I'm calling everyone and tell them that I'm having a party too and they can come. … Of course! No one likes Mahogany! … Oh, well, I won't see him today anyway. … I'm not 'mean', Will! Since I was supposed to stay here, I thought I'd call some of my friends too. There's already a party scheduled, after all, there's plenty of food and drinks and cake and space… … What about him? I decided to have a party! What's wrong with that? … He can't say anything. There's no one to say that if he's having a party, I can't have one too! … Because! Don't you like my idea? … It's not difficult, Will, don't be like this. … It doesn't mean anything. … I'll tell them I don't want any presents. It's not my birthday or something. … It's their choice. You will come, at least, won't you? … Then? … I told you, I'll tell them to come! … Will, look, I'm doing it whether you like it or not. But I'd just want you here. … It's not obligatory. … Good, then. … When my parents leave. They're going to their chief's for the party. … The chief of their newspaper, don't get stuck there! … Soon enough. Wait a sec… … Nothing, I thought that my father was coming down the stairs. … From the living room, where else? Since I don't have a phone in my room! That's why I keep telling them I want a mobile phone. … Yeah, yeah, I'll see. But that's not the point now. … At seven. That's when Andrew's friends will start coming, too. … Now. Just as long as no one's listening. … See ya. Thanks a lot! … Bye."

Even having heard only one part of the conversation, it's a piece of cake to understand what just happened. What can I say? Like mother, like daughter. I just hope she'll get away with it. Not because I don't like Andrew — that was a while ago, now I think he's okay. But I believe that the parents should see themselves in their children's faults and be understanding.

That's what Lois says, too. We have the same opinion on this point. Clark, on the other hand, thinks that this is wrong because the kids are supposed to become better than their parents. I'm not saying, of course, that Lois believes that the kids should never get punished, nor that Clark has adopted a zero-tolerance policy. The truth is somewhere in the middle, with Clark tending to be 'strict' and Lois tending to be 'lenient'.

It's very funny, though. Their attitudes don't coincide with their actions. I mean, Clark, when the kids do something he considers wrong, he likes to talk to them calmly and explain to them why they shouldn't do what they did, and he doesn't stop until they realize it. Lois, on the other hand, when the kids do something she considers wrong, gets all angry and loud and Mad-Dog-Lane-ly. Truth to be told, I've heard stories from her past, and I can assure you, she can control her nerves much more effectively now. Just not always.

You should see her when they called her from Andrew's school because he had beat a boy up. She had been kind on the phone, while talking to the principal, but when she hung up, she began screaming, "Clark! Clark!"

He was at work, but he flew here as soon as he could. "What happened?"

She was trembling in anger. "I just got a call from Andrew's school. He beat a kid up! Can you believe it? I can't! How could he?"

Clark couldn't believe it either. "He beat a kid up?"

"Yes!" She was pacing around furiously.

"Using superpowers?"

"Probably, because the poor boy is in the hospital right now!"


"Yeah! His nose and two ribs are broken, and he's all bruised!"


"With his parents, I guess."

"No, I mean Andrew beat him up alone?"

Lois suddenly stopped pacing and thought. "I think so. The principal said he'd beat him up and he didn't want to say why. But what difference does it make?" She started pacing around again, even more angrily, if that was even possible. "He beat a kid up, Clark! He beat him so much he sent him to the hospital! Can't you understand? Why are you so calm? How the heck can you be so calm?"

Calm? I'd name it frozen.

"I can't understand why he did it," Clark said, puzzled.

"We've told him a million times that it's dangerous to use his superpowers in public and that in no case should he use them against someone else! Doesn't he have an inch of brain in that stupid head of his?"

"Lois, please, calm down."

"How can I calm down??"

"Calm down. I'll go pick him up, okay?"

"Fine. Go."

After he left, she paced around a bit more, then she went to the kitchen, from where I heard the noise of saucepans clanging, water running, cabinets open and closing, water boiling and then a curse. As I found out minutes later, she had tried to make herself a cup of tea and got burnt in the process.

I don't know how much time had passed when Clark arrived with Andrew. As soon as she heard them, she stormed out of the kitchen.

"Honey, what happened to your hand?" Clark asked, seeing her left hand.

"It's just a burn," she said quickly. "You, young man!" She turned to Andrew, whose face showed a mixture of anger and embarrassment. "What did you think you were doing?"

Andrew stubbornly refused to reply.


Again, no reply.

"Jonathan Andrew Kent! What did you think you were doing?"

Still no reply.

"Okay, that's enough!"


"Ouch! My hand!" Clark, trying to keep her away from Andrew, had touched her burn.


"He has some explaining to do!"

"He will, honey. But you calm down, okay?"

She looked murderous.

Clark turned to Andrew. "Andrew, please sit down and tell us what happened."

Oops! Sorry! I'll have to interrupt this story for a second.

While I was telling you about it, Nicole was calling her friends and inviting them over. If I'm not mistaken, most accepted the invitation. But Clark is now coming down the stairs and Nicole has gotten a bit nervous, although she keeps talking to Drew. (Please, don't ask if that's a boy or a girl, because I honestly don't know.)

"…About seven. … I'm just doing it by the way, since we're having another party… For my brother's birthday. … Yes. … Thanks. … Okay, hope to see you. … Bye!"

"Who were you talking to?" Clark asks pleasantly as he walks down the stairs.

"Ehm… I was talking to Drew. My classmate."


"I told her to come over."

So it's a 'she'.


Clark doesn't sound like he minds. Of course, Nicole just talked about Drew. She left the eighteen other kids of her classroom aside.

Nicole is eyeing him strangely. He, however, doesn't seem to notice. He heads to the kitchen. Right after he closes the door, Nicole goes on with the calling thing.

"Hello? Helen, is that you?"

And, while she's talking to Helen, let's go a bit back to finish the story about Andrew.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. When his father told him to sit down and tell them what happened, Andrew did sit down, but he didn't speak.

"So?" Clark asked, patiently.

Did I mention that Lois looked murderous? I think I did. Andrew still wasn't speaking, though.

"Andrew!" Lois warned.

Still nothing. That was where I broke into nervous laughter. I don't know why. I kept on watching nevertheless.

"Andrew, don't be afraid. We won't get angry," Clark said pleasantly.

Yeah, right.

Only Lois was already angry.

Correction: Lois was mad, not angry.

Clark put his arm around her in an attempt to calm her down. She was silent, but her eyes were flashing.

"Andrew?" Clark asked again.

"All right," Andrew finally grumbled.

Clark nodded, letting him continue.

Andrew spoke in a low voice. "They wanted to play baseball. They asked me to join them and I said no. They asked me, 'why don't you ever play baseball?', and I said, 'I don't like it'. Then they said, 'but you like watching,' and I said, 'yeah, but I don't like playing.' They asked why, and I said because it's tiring. And Sean began laughing. He always does. I didn't say anything. And then he asked, 'isn't there anything you like playing?' and I said I like playing cards. And…"


"And he said something about you," Andrew timidly said, turning to Lois.

"About me?" Lois's face lost all anger and became curious. "What did he say?"



"You know…"


"That thing they name these women that get paid for… um…"

Lois was unpleasantly stunned. _Very_ unpleasantly stunned. "He called *me*…"

"He said, 'with that, ehm, you have for a mother, you may even be Superman's kid, and you can't even hold a bat!' Only he didn't say 'ehm'."

What world is this we're living in? Eight year olds talking like this? If that's even possible!

After he said that, Lois knelt beside him. "And that's why you beat him?"

"Yeah. I mean, when he said that I just… couldn't… I began beating him."

"Did you use your superpowers on him?" Lois asked worriedly.

"Maybe. I don't know. I was very angry. I just punched him and kicked him, but maybe I used too much strength."

"Why didn't you tell anyone what happened?"

"Because… because…" Andrew was frustrated. "…Because I didn't want more people to hear that! He… is a bad boy. I don't care if he calls me names because I can stand it, but when he talks about you it's too much. I mean… I know I shouldn't do it, but when I heard him saying it I couldn't stop myself."

Clark sat beside him. "It's nice that you understand that you shouldn't have done it."

"I'm sorry."

"You should apologize to him."

"I know… but I can't."

"Andrew!" Lois warned.

"Okay, I can, but I don't want to."

"Sometimes we have to do things we don't like," Clark reminded him. "Besides, by treating him badly you give him the right to treat you in a bad way too."

"He already does."

"Yeah, but now he doesn't have the right."

Hehe. That was a good point, wasn't it?

Andrew visited him at the hospital the following day and he apologized. Sean didn't seem to care, but, well, Andrew had done what he had to do. And he certainly learned that it's essential to control yourself. He would have gotten expelled, but Clark talked to the principal and explained what Sean had said, so the principal agreed to just give him a write-five-hundred-times-the-phrase-'I-am-not- supposed-to-beat-my-classmates-up-no-matter-what-they-say' punishment. Of course, he didn't know that Andrew superspeed-wrote it and that it only took him three minutes. Plus one burnt sheet of paper.

Nicole must be finishing with her calls by now.

"…No, no, I just thought… … No, I'm just asking you to come. … Well, see what you can do, okay? I'll be glad to see you here. … Thanks. See ya." She hangs up the phone. "And George…" she mumbles, and begins dialing without even taking a second to think.

You know what? Nicole was wrong to say, back then, that only the boys have superpowers. Sure, they have superstrength, superspeed, invulnerability, heat-vision, they can fly and x-ray walls, but the girls have all the mental gifts. Nicole is a three-in-one talking dictionary- encyclopedia-telephone agenda. She can do incredible calculations by memory in mere seconds and she has a perfect photographic memory. Laura Ellen is also a very smart girl. She's not even three years old yet, but she can talk very clearly, following grammar rules and using a fairly wide vocabulary, in comparison to other three year olds.

The problem is that the girls' powers — Nicole's, for that matter — aren't as cool as the boys' ones. It also took them longer to develop. Sure, she always had a brilliant mind, but it's only since her tenth birthday, a few weeks ago, that these abilities reached this extremely high level.

And what does Nicole say for that? She doesn't like it at all.

It was about a couple of days after her birthday when she first began realizing that her mental abilities were changing. She had to come home on her own that day because Clark had some super-duties to take care of and Lois was at the Planet. Anyway, she stormed in, shut the door noisily, threw her bag down and began pacing around nervously.

"A freak. A freak! Yeah, right! *I* am the freak! It's cool when Andrew picks up a chair with one finger, but when I do a division I'm a freak!"

Then, she came to talk to me. "I just did a division by memory! Is it too hard to tell by memory how much is 81:3? Well, obviously, for the morons in my class, it is, if they call me a freak over that!"

I started whirling around nervously. I told her that her special abilities were just making the other kids jealous and she shouldn't give credit to them, but she was just staring at me incredulously. Finally, she spoke up in disgust.

"Now why am I talking to you? I can't understand what Tommy sees in you." And then she went upstairs.

I didn't quite understand whether she heard what I told her or not, but I'm not complaining. She was upset, after all.

Since then, though, she rarely uses these abilities in public. I mean, it's very useful when she only has to read the lesson once to learn it by heart, but she has stopped answering questions of general context when they happen to come up and she refuses to do calculations by memory by saying 'what do you think I am, a calculator?' Even in front of her parents.

She doesn't want them to know she's like that. She either hasn't realized yet that she has inherited these abilities from her father, or, more likely, she's still too angry to come to terms with herself. Especially if she has to do it unwillingly, under the pressure of her parents.

It's a difficult world for the superpowered. Not everyone is lucky enough to be a goldfish like me.

Back to today. Nicole has left the room. She went upstairs, I don't know why.

The living room is now empty, and I can listen to the voices from the kitchen.

"It looks fine, doesn't it?" This is Lois.

"Yeah." This is Clark.

"I wonder how it tastes." They're obviously talking about the birthday cake.

"Well, it's a chocolate cake, so chances are it tastes like chocolate."

"Clark, you sound like Perry."

"I think it'll be fine."

"I'll just have to decorate it. Whipped cream and chocolate sticks, what do you think?"

"Sounds delicious. I wonder if the kids will leave some for us."

"I can always bake another."

Miracles do happen.

>=> >=> >=> >=> >=> >=>

The first guest rings the bell. Lois, Clark, Tommy and Laura Ellen have already left. Andrew is nervously pacing around and Nicole is sitting on the stairs, with that mischievous smile on her lips.

Andrew goes to open the door, and, amazed, he stares at Will.

"Hey, Andrew! Happy birthday! I brought you something!"

"Um… thanks."

He's at a loss. Will hands him her present and sits by Nicole.

"I'm glad you came," Nicole says.

"How couldn't I?"

"Where to put this?" Andrew asks Nicole.

"Leave it at the corner." She points to the corner at the right of my bowl. "We'll open them all later."


"Is it the one you bought for Mahogany?" Nicole asks Will. She obviously doesn't care whether Andrew is going to hear her.

"Actually, my mom bought it. So I don't think it makes any difference. Besides, I'd rather give a present to Andrew than to Mahogany. I like him more."

Nicole humphs. "Wanna trade?"

"Holly for Andrew? Anytime."

The doorbell rings again.

"Andrew, the door!" Nicole calls.

He opens the door. Another friend of Nicole's.

"Andrew, happy birthday!" the girl exclaims and kisses Andrew on both cheeks. "This is for you!" She hands him a present and goes to join the girls sitting on the stairs.

Poor Andrew, he can't understand what's going on… Bad boy! I know this look! He's x-raying the gift!

Even after that, though, he remains confused. He leaves it beside the other one, and calls his sister. "Nicole?"


"Come here for a minute."

"Sure." She gets up and walks to him. "What's up?" she asks in a low voice.

"Why are they here?"

"Because I invited them."

"And why did you invite them?"

"I figured that you'd like more people to your party."

"Yeah, but then you should invite friends of mine!"

"But you had already invited them all!"

Comments are yours. I can only laugh for the moment.

"Oh. Okay."

Doorbell ring again.

"Go open the door now," Nicole nudges him as she goes back to her friends.

Oh, it's Ben. Andrew's best friend.



"Happy birthday."


Another gift. We'll be having a big pile in a while.

Ben stares at the girls strangely and causes them to start giggling. They are all in the same school, but they rarely speak to each other since they're in different classes. He must be finding it really awkward to see them at his friend's party.

"Come on," Andrew pulls him near the couch. "Let's sit here."

>=> >=> >=> >=> >=> >=>

Now they're all here. Only two of Andrew's classmates haven't come, and of course, neither Dean nor Mahogany have.

Nicole doesn't feel any worse because of it, though. Quite the opposite, she's the life of the party. She chooses the music, dances, talks a bit to everyone and makes sure there are always enough refreshments, chips and sandwiches on the table beside the kitchen door.

Now she's got Tommy to help her bring the cake in.

Here they come! She's holding the tray and Andrew walks before her, clearing up the space. "Attention!" she calls. "Birthday cake arriving!"

The other kids applaud and whistle. This cake really looks delicious.

She uses a lighter to light the eight candles. They all start singing 'Happy birthday to you' etc., Andrew blows the candles out and then turns to Nicole, who is taking photographs. She nods affirmatively.

Oh. I know what this was. She had obviously warned him not to blow too forcefully and ruin the cake, while they were in the kitchen.

Now she's taking the cake back to the kitchen to start serving it. All in all, she may be very good at ruining parties, but she's just as good at organizing them. Looks like the catastrophic mood she was in earlier vanished with the thought that right now Mahogany and Dean must be on their own and bored to death.

Here she comes, carrying two plates of cake. She hands them to two of the kids and goes back to bring more. Soon, they're all enjoying the cake and congratulating Nicole and Andrew for the fantastic cake, to which they proudly reply 'Our mom baked it.'

Ah… I wish I could eat some, too. At least out of curiosity.

>=> >=> >=> >=> >=> >=>

It's ten thirty. Parents begin coming to pick up their children. By eleven o'clock, all kids were gone.

Nicole and Andrew have finished cleaning up most of the mess, which wasn't a big mess anyway, and now they're lying on the couch, exhausted. Actually, Nicole is exhausted; Andrew is just tired.

"So, did you have a good time?" Nicole asks him.

"Yeah. It was great. Thanks."

She smiles. "You're welcome. And thanks for not complaining that I called my friends."

"No prob. It was more fun with all those people."

She nods affirmatively.

"But you still haven't told me why you invited them," he points out.

"I told you, I figured you'd like more people for your party," she says with a smile.

"Yeah, right." Not having a superpowered mind doesn't mean he's dumb.

"All right. I decided that if I couldn't go to Mahogany's party, it would have to come here."

"Mahogany…?" Andrew asks, confused.

"From my class? That stupid, short boy with the black hair?"

"Is there only one?" He has his father's sense of humor.

"The one who lost a shoe while playing football?"

"Oh, yeah. I remember." He grins. "I didn't see him here, though."

"I didn't invite him. He had a party of his own."

"Yeah, and what a party it must have been," Andrew comments sarcastically.

"I can only imagine…" Nicole grins, satisfied. "He and Dean, all alone, wondering whether anyone's going to join them. I had called Dean, but, obviously, he didn't come either."

"Dean Robinson? The tall one that plays basketball?"

"Yeah, him. For some reason, they're very good friends."

Andrew just shrugs.

"When are Mom and Dad coming?" he asks a bit later.

"Any minute now. But you can go to bed if you want to."

"I'm not sleepy. I'm bored."

"Play rock, paper, scissors?"


They start playing. They're cute when they're not fighting. Actually, they're cute when they're fighting, too. Once you get used to it.

Finally! Lois, Clark, Tommy and Laura Ellen are here. They're just entering the room.

Nicole and Andrew get up and run to the door.

"What a clean room!" Lois exclaims, taking a look around. "How many of the children you invited actually came, Andrew?"

"17. And 17 more I didn't invite."


"That was me," Nicole says with a timid smile.

"You did what? Invited 17 kids more?"

"18, actually, but one didn't come."

Lois nods. "Oh." She has a weird look on her face. Something like 'I'm not sure I understand, but, well, whatever…'. "Bedtime now?"

"Yeah…" a sleepy Tommy yawns.

Clark smiles and picks up Tommy with his left arm. In the right one he's holding Laura Ellen, who's already asleep. They all head upstairs to the bedrooms. Goodnight, Kent family.

And, as I'm sleepy too…

Goodnight, FoLCs. See ya.

>=> >=> THE END >=> >=>