By LaraMoon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: August 2006
Summary: Finding out he could shoot lasers out of his eyes was just the first step on a long journey of self-discovery.
Author's note: This story follows "To Be Like Me". You don't really need to read that one first, but it wouldn't hurt. ;) If nothing else, you'd get a good insight into the main character if you did. Actually, if you were ever going to read "To Be Like Me", now would be a good time, else reading this first will kill the punch. LOL!
I'd like to thank Julie who was my GE for TBLM — she's the one that suggested I should do a follow up. :) Great big thanks to Caroline K. who taught me things about the English language that the little French-Canadian girl I am wasn't aware of. :) Thanks for your time and your suggestions, it's helped me tremendously! Finally, to everyone who commented on the boards when I posted this story: thank you, thank you, thank you! It's evolved quite a bit since I posted it and it took a while before I came up with an ending I was happy with, but I've finally managed to do just that. :)
Finally, just a quick little warning, there's a bit of a WHAM in there, in a way. Not a big one, but since I happen to mention some people dying, well… maybe a warning is needed.
Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.
- Lewis Carroll
If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago to tell you who I am, I could have answered you in a hundred words or less. And that's if I include my likes and dislikes, else I can do it in half that amount. Seriously. I'd have told you I'm your typical, run of the mill, regular teenager. At least, that's who I thought I was.
As it turns out, a hundred words… would be several tomes short of the full story. I'm so much more than who I thought I was, it's almost unimaginable.
You might as well sit down, because this is a long and complicated tale to tell. Not to mention your knees may go weak at some point. Once I'm done, I expect you'll want to check my temperature to see if I'm not feverish and delirious. That's in the best of cases because it's also quite possible you'll start screaming and run away as if I had the plague. I'm kind of hoping you won't do that, but I know better than to have you promise you won't. Just please believe me when I tell you I haven't gone completely off my rocker. I still have all my marbles, if you know what I mean!
Up until a certain day, a couple of weeks ago, I had always believed that my life was normal. But that afternoon, I learned something about myself that I had not expected; that I couldn't believe. Something that was definitely not normal. Since then, I've made some pretty amazing discoveries about myself, discoveries that have forced me to alter my own definition of who I am in a very drastic way. My life is anything but normal. *I* am anything but normal.
There I was, sitting in a chemistry lab at school, waiting in line to heat the contents of my test tube for an experiment. I found myself staring at the liquid inside the tube and wishing it would just start boiling on its own. And that's the odd thing… it did. It started boiling. Just like that!
That day, I learned that I could turn my vision into a sort of laser beam. I can literally burn through objects just by staring at them and concentrating a little bit. To say I was blown away would be quite an understatement. How many teenagers do you know of that can do *that*?!
I spent the next couple of days absolutely convinced that I was a mutant. You have no idea what that's like! I thought my parents would hate me and that my life was over. I was desperate to find someone I could talk to who might understand and offer some sort of guidance. But who can you talk to about being a *mutant*? Not Mom and Dad for sure, this was going to break their hearts; their eldest child was a freak! There's no one at school I would ever consider telling a secret like this, either. So who? Superman seemed to be the only logical choice. After all, he wouldn't be afraid of someone like me and I figured on some level he would probably understand what I was going through, what with him having super powers and all that. Being different.
I decided to ask my parents if they might help me get in touch with him. I didn't know how to do it otherwise… except maybe throw myself from the roof of a tall building, but I'm pretty sure I'd have been grounded for life if I had tried such a stupid trick. My folks are reporters at the Daily Planet — you must have heard of them, Lane and Kent, "best news team in the city," the billboards say — well, they have a knack for landing exclusive interviews with the Man of Steel, so I figured they would know how to get in touch with him.
"Whatever for?" Mom asked me at the time with a worried look in her eyes. I told her it was for a school assignment, but of course that wasn't exactly true. I'm convinced she didn't believe a word of it, but she didn't call my bluff. She told me she'd talk it over with Dad when he got home later on.
"What's there to talk over with Dad?" I wondered. Since when did Mom check with Dad before doing anything? Try *never*! However, this time there was no going around it. If I wanted to be able to talk to Superman, I would have to wait for Dad to get home. A few hours later, I was in for a real surprise when I understood exactly why that was.
First they made me sit and tell them why I was suddenly interested in meeting with Superman. I reluctantly told them about my "mutant theory". They gave me a strange look. Not the reaction I expected from them at all — I thought Mom would panic, maybe cry, and Dad would pace and try to find a logical explanation to all this. But no, none of that. In fact, they actually looked *relieved*! Can you believe it? I was shocked!
They made me explain in great detail why I thought I was a mutant. Let me tell you, this is right up there on the "talks you never want to have with your folks" list! Just a couple of notches under the lecture on using protection before… um… well, you know… intercourse. We had *that* chat around my birthday this year; I thought I'd die of embarrassment! Well, explaining to Mom and Dad about being a mutant and having this special vision thing that I can do wasn't a piece of cake, either. Especially with them *smiling* back at me through the whole thing and, oh my God do I ever hate it when Dad asks me, "and how does that make you feel?" I don't know how I feel, Dad! I haven't had time to think much about that yet. I'm way too freaked out at finding out I'm a mutant!!
Once I'd finished telling them everything, Mom told me she knew for sure that I wasn't a mutant. I'm not a freak accident of nature. In fact, I am not an accident — not in any way, shape or form. My parents would tell you I'm a miracle, but I'm no accident. I didn't come out of a Petri dish and there's nothing in my genetic makeup that's gone wild and mutated into something… scary. I'm exactly who and what I should be; I just didn't know that yet.
The bottom line is that I can shoot laser beams from my eyes and it's normal. Yep. Absolutely, 100% normal. Wait 'til you find out why! That's when it really starts sounding like science fiction.
Are you ready?
It's normal for me to have powers like this because I am the son of Superman.
The cat was finally out of the bag. The first cat, anyway…
For what I can only imagine was an eternity, all I did was sit there with my mouth hanging open, looking from Mom to Dad and back again; completely dumbstruck. Mom and Superman? When I asked Dad if he knew about this, he gave me a "yes of course" sort of smile and nodded. And then it struck me: I was born well over a year after my parents were married. Uh oh.
"Mom," I said, outraged, "but that means you and Dad were *married* when… when…"
Mom laughed a little bit and said, "It's not like that, sweetie. Really, it's not what you think. Superman is your father."
"Yeah, I got that part, Mom! You said that before and I got it. But, Mom! How… could you?"
Dad was laughing now, too. He was *laughing*! "No, son," he said, "what your mother means is that *I* am Superman."
I believe my response to that was that they were fit for the loony bin. Hit on the head by one too many bad guys or something! My Dad? No way! My Dad is a reporter, not an alien from another planet! Did they really expect me to believe that Clark Kent is Superman? Impossible! Absolutely no way I was going to swallow that! …and then he stood up, did this really strange spin thing and emerged a mere three seconds later clad in neon blue spandex.
My jaw dropped to the floor.
Every kid dreams of having a superhero for a father, but none of them actually believes there's any possibility of it being the case. The probabilities against it are astronomical. And yet, there you have it, the head of our household actually *is* a superhero!
How could I not have seen this before? Oh, I'm certain Mom and Dad did all they possibly could so that we would have no reason to believe that our father was Superman, but there must have been clues! I still kick myself for not figuring it out.
I can't really blame them for not telling me before, though. Imagine if I'd let it slip out that I know where Superman lives… even I can see how that could put our family in danger. You see, my track record isn't spotless in the "secret keeping" area: I've managed to spill the beans on the Tooth Fairy *and* Santa Claus to the twins — they were crushed! — and Mom wasn't pleased with me at all. I wasn't even trying to shatter their illusions on purpose; it just slipped out!
However, my tendency to let things slip isn't the only reason why my parents hadn't told me yet. The fact of the matter is they were putting it off. This was at the very top of their own "chats we're not looking forward to having with our son" list. Not that I blame them, really; stuff like this can really mess with a kid's head!
In about two days' time I had gone from being a regular kid to being the son of Superman and finding out that Metropolis' resident superhero just happens to hide out in the guise of a mild-mannered reporter most of the time. Can you say "blown away"? My mind was reeling! If Dad had x-rayed my skull, he would have seen the wheels turning in my head, trying to make sense of everything.
And suddenly, just when I thought things couldn't possibly get more complicated than this, they did.
Ok… This is where you're going to think that there's a cell at the insane asylum with my name on it. But there's really no need to panic and call 911. I swear to you, I am not delusional. And yes, I do realize that's exactly what I'd be telling you if I *was* delusional… Just trust me for now.
I was adopted. My parents found me on their doorstep one morning. I was utterly confused when they told me, as you can probably imagine. If they're not my biological parents, how can I possibly be the son of Superman?
Ah. Well, as it turns out, Lois Lane and Clark Kent *are* my biological parents. Except, not these two whose home I live in. A Lois Lane and a Clark Kent from an alternate universe.
Bet you didn't know that there are alternate universes, huh? Most people have a copy of themselves in them, except not exactly the same. Small differences. I'm not sure just how many alternates there are… There's at least two that we're sure of, apart from this one. I myself don't have a double in any of them; I'm the only "me" out there as far as we know. There are duplicates of my parents in all three of these realities, but they didn't even have children in all of them… small differences.
Mom told me about HG Wells and Tempus and how they had technology that enabled them to cross over from one reality to another. She's been to one before. She says when she got there she found a world without a Superman. Apparently she helped that universe's Clark Kent become Superman. Dad kept smiling while she was telling me this. He says she just couldn't imagine a world without a guy flying around in blue tights, constantly saving her from certain death. Mom blushed and asked him a few times to stop teasing. Adults, I swear!
From what I understand, in the alternate universe where I was born, Lex Luthor killed Superman. I'm not really sure who that Luthor guy is; all I know is he's one really bad dude! In this reality he's been dead for years. I suppose that's a good thing… In that other universe, however, he managed to kill my biological father with a sword made out of Kryptonite. As for my biological mother, I'm told she died of a broken heart. I was only a few months old at the time and with no other family to speak of. So Mr. Wells did the only thing he could have: he brought me here to be raised by the closest possible thing to my real parents.
I'm a bit ticked off at the whole cosmos for dealing me this hand, but then again, I'm really lucky that someone cared enough to make sure I'd be raised by a loving family. In fact, Mom and Dad have been really great through all this so far. They're the best parents a kid like me could possibly ask for — other than the actual real ones, I guess. I don't think I could make it without having people to talk to who know and understand as much as they do. Anyone else would probably think I've lost my mind! Sometimes I think I have…
This whole alternate realities thing is going to take a long time to get adjusted to. It's just plain weird! I'll never know my real parents, but yet I do know them, except it's not exactly them. I often wake up wondering if perhaps all of this wasn't just a really odd dream that I had.
I'm having a lot less trouble wrapping my head around the fact that I'm half-Kryptonian. I can't say that I'm crazy about the "being different" part, but this isn't actually such a bad kind of different, when you think about it. And I have to admit that I was quite relieved to find out that I'm not a mutant. I mean, who knows how weird and scary I could have turned out to be? I could have started growing scales and turned a funky shade of green! Who can tell what happens when your DNA runs amok?! This is a lot safer. Not exactly happier or simpler, but much less frightening.
For the moment, all I can do is that laser vision gizmo — Dad says I should call it "heat vision", sounds more intelligent. I might develop other "powers" over the next few years. Then again, maybe I won't. Oh, I do have some degree of invulnerability — can't burn myself with the heat vision, for instance — but this isn't something I can do, it's just there. There's no way to know for sure if I've inherited any of Superman's other abilities. I wouldn't mind not having the super breath, but I really hope I'll be able to fly. Please, please, please, let me have gotten that power! Can you imagine? Flying. Just thinking about it totally blows my mind!
I swore I wouldn't breathe a word of any of this to my sisters. They're only seven, they wouldn't understand. Anyway, Dad says he's not too worried about me accidentally telling them or anyone else. Since I have my own secret to keep now, my own little piece of the puzzle, I'm more likely to hold on to the other ones as well. Something to do with responsibility and coming of age. Pretty wise, my old man.
I've also promised to shut up about the Easter Bunny. I'm surprised the twins still believe in *that*, but I think I've trampled on enough of their childhood dreams; I'll leave that one alone. They'll have a hard enough time adjusting to the strangeness of our family in a few years' time!
I wonder if having a super-power means I'm going to have to be a superhero when I'm older? Then again, I don't think I'd be really very useful if all I can do is burn holes through things. Doesn't exactly save lives, does it? And I don't think I want to walk around in tights and a cape, to tell you the truth. It works for Superman, but I'm not sure I could pull that off! I'm going to need to have a serious discussion with Dad about all that.
Yeah. As soon as he flies back in from that pileup on the interstate that's he's gone off to help with, we're going to have us a little chat; super-powered alien to super-powered… huh… son of the alien.