By KenJ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: December, 2102
Summary: This story takes place in the Matchmaker Chronicles universe. Lois and Clark have been married for approximately sixteen years. The family has been on vacation in Smallville. It is the end of summer and the kids will be turning to school. Jon is starting middle school and makes a new friend the first day. This story introduces the Hattie Kaplin character. This story is a sequel to "Summer Camp — Matchmaker Chronicles Volume 1C."
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Disclaimers: The characters in this story are property of DC, December 3rd productions and Warner Bros., except those I created. No copyright infringement is intended. I have just borrowed the characters for a short time.
Words in italics denote emphasis
/denotes telepathic communications/
Saturday, August 31, 2013
It was Saturday morning! Jon was the first one up, well, actually he wasn’t the first one up, he could hear Grandma Kent in the kitchen, but, still he was the first one of the kids up which wasn’t too surprising since they were going to the lake for the day. After quickly dressing in shorts and a T-shirt and being careful not to disturb Sean and Jimmy, he tip-toed down the hall and whispered, “Lara?”
In answer to his whisper the door opened and a similarly dressed Lara stepped out into the hall, joining her brother. They both headed downstairs, chattering as they went, making plans for what they wanted to do at the lake. Lara was excited! It was the start of the Labor Day weekend and she figured that almost everyone would be at the lake. She hoped that Mike would be there.
When they got downstairs Martha heard them chattering and came out of the kitchen. “Well, good morning! I thought you kids would be sleeping in, it is Saturday, you know.”
Jon replied, “Yeah, Grandma, we know it’s Saturday, but, we’re goin’ to the lake today! Mom and Dad said we could spend the day there because of what we did to help with the fire on Thursday. It’s our award!”
Lara made a face and said, “I think you mean — reward!”
Martha chuckled at this by play. Lara might be a couple of years younger than Jon, but, she was very mature for her eleven years. She said, “Well, how about some breakfast? You’re going to need the energy if you’re spending the day at the lake. Come on into the kitchen and have a seat at the table.”
As they headed for the kitchen, Lara replied, “Thanks, Grandma!”
Later, at the lake.
Jon and Lara weren’t too surprised to find that most of the kids that they had gone to camp with were at the lake the same as they were. It was the last opportunity before they would all be going back to school.
Almost as soon as they arrived Mike Lee spotted them and came over. “Hey guys, I’m glad to see that you are still here. How soon are you leaving?”
Jon knew that he had to be careful so he replied, “I’m not real sure … soon.”
“Do your Mom and Dad take turns driving that big van of yours?”
Lara piped up, “Yeah, you’d be surprised just how fast the trip goes with both of them taking turns.”
Mike turned to Lara and said, “I wish I lived closer. I like spending time with Uncle Wayne. My Dad thinks the time with his uncle on the farm is good for me. I just think it’s fun. I especially liked camp this year.”
Jon said, “This was our first time.”
Mike replied, “I know. I’ve been going to the 4H camp every year for the last 4 years. Unc sends me as a treat for helping out on the farm all summer. I leave tomorrow. I have to fly back to LA because school starts on Wednesday. I’m starting Middle School this year.”
Jon said, “Me too. I’ll be in a different building.” He turned to Lara, “Are you gonna miss me Sis?”
With a grin, she replied, “Sure, the way you miss a toothache after the dentist has fixed it.”
With a stricken expression, Jon looked at his sister and asked, “Do you really feel that way, Sis?”
“Nah, I just don’t want you to think I can’t get along without you, besides, the twins will still be there.”
Jon asked, “But, what if you get into trouble? I won’t be there to help you out.”
Mike said, “Why would that be a problem. You guys are friends with Superman and Ultra Woman. All she has to do is shout for help.”
Lara knew she had to be careful with how she handled this. She said, “I’m sure Ultra Woman and Superman have more important things to do than watch over a couple of kids. Besides, I can take care of myself. I’m a blue belt in karate. We all take karate, even Jimmy. Jon has his purple belt.”
Mike said, “Superman and Ultra Woman were around on Thursday, when they were needed. Do you think they’re still in the area?”
Jon said, “With as fast as they can fly, they could be anywhere.”
Mike asked, “If they come back, do you think you could introduce me?”
Lara was starting to do a slow boil. She liked Mike, in fact she was really drawn to him, but, he was asking all of these questions and about Ultra Woman, her Mom no less. She said, “Ultra Woman is married to Superman, you know.”
Mike replied, “Aww, I know that! I’d still like to meet her though.”
Jon replied, “If she comes back, I’ll see what I can do.”
Mike brightened up and said, “Thanks Jon, you’re a pal.”
Unfortunately for Mike, Ultra Woman didn’t show up that day. The kids still had a lot of fun anyhow.
At the end of the day they all said goodbye to each other and Mike forgot to get their contact information. Once he was back at his great uncle Wayne Irig’s farm he asked if he knew how to contact the Kents in Metropolis. Wayne gave him the information and Mike decided that he was going to write as soon as he was home. He needed to find out the next time they were going to be in Smallville. Maybe he could convince his parents to let him visit Uncle Wayne at the same time.
The trip home was uneventful. Jon and Lara had the privilege of riding in the van again and loved every minute.
The next couple of days were spent in preparing for the first day of school.
Since both Jon and Lara had their powers coming on, Lois and Clark had decided to act early. They had purchased glasses frames for each of them and replaced the lenses with lead glass crystal. This would prevent them from having their x-ray vision accidentally kicking in and breaching someone’s privacy. The excuse would be that they had inherited their father’s weak eyesight.
Clark had had a talk with Jon the day before the start of school.
“Jon, your powers have been coming on for a while. You are stronger and faster than anyone else your age and your other powers are starting to kick in. You are going to have to be careful not to reveal that fact. I know how it is, you are going to be tempted to use your powers, but you must be really careful not to reveal what you can do.”
Jon replied, “Yeah, Pop. I know. I’ve seen how you handle it. I can do the same thing. One thing though, can I please use my karate? I mean, just to defend myself. It’s not like I’m going to go around picking fights or anything. I just don’t want to be pushed around too much and I will be if everybody thinks I’m a push over.”
“We enrolled you in those classes because we saw that the control that you learn in them will help you manage your powers later.”
“I know, Pop. But if the other kids know that I know karate, they’ll leave me alone.”
“Alright, Sport, I’ll trust you to use your best judgment.”
The first day of school didn’t go exactly the way Jon expected. When he arrived he had to find his new homeroom and locker. His locker was right between Hattie Kaplin and the notorious bully, Raymond (Bud) Kyle. He knew Bud but Hattie had come in from another elementary school. As he walked up to his locker, he saw a cute little redhead dressed in navy slacks and a light blue polo shirt standing in front of the locker next to his and he figured that it had to be Hattie. Jon was somewhat amused by her attire. He was also dressed in navy slacks but he had on a light blue short-sleeve button down shirt. He introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Jon Kent. I came in from Pine Crest.”
Hattie stuck out her hand as she said, “Hattie Kaplin, I came in from Oak Grove.”
Jon shook her hand and said, “I guess we made it to the big time.”
Hattie said, “Nah, we aren’t there yet. That’s high school. This is only middle school.”
Just then Bud walked up. As he shoved Jon out of the way he said, “Look out four eyes,” and Jon almost fell into his open locker.
Hattie yelled, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing? He didn’t do anything to you!”
Bud retorted, “Yeah, he did! He got in my way.”
As Jon watched, Hattie shifted her stance slightly. Jon recognized the stance from his own training and half chuckled to himself. He thought, <Oh boy! Bud doesn’t know what he’s in for.>
Hattie challenged Bud, “He was, huh? Well, am I in your way now?”
“Nah, you’re just a girl!” He started to move past her.
Hattie stepped directly in his path.
“Hey, step aside. I said you weren’t in the way.” He made to move around her again.
Hattie stepped into his path again, standing there with her feet apart slightly, one a little in front of the other, her arms held loosely at her sides.
Bud finally decided that she had to be challenging him. He said, “If that’s the way you want to handle it, okay.” He reached out to shove her aside.
When he did he was taken completely by surprise. His hands didn’t land on her the way they were supposed to. He felt her hands on the outside of his forearm. One of her hands was grabbing and pulling while the other hit his arm near the shoulder sending him off balance and into the row of lockers. After he hit the locker he slid down until he hit the floor.
Jon knew Bud and knew that he would come up fighting mad. Using a little bit of superspeed he stepped in between Hattie and Bud so that when Bud came up he would be there.
Hattie said, “Hey, what are you doing?”
Jon said, “Stopping this.”
Bud came back up and just as Jon expected, he was fighting mad and struck out at the nearest person which was now Jon.
Bud was left-handed and struck out with that arm. Jon used a sweeping left hand upward block and spun his hand around to grab Bud’s wrist once he had made contact. Once he had his wrist he twisted it down and around behind his back pulling it into a hammer-lock. Once he had him subdued, Jon said, “Bud, I’m ashamed of you! Don’t you know it’s not nice to hit girls? I’d suggest that you pick on somebody your own size, but, actually, I think Hattie can take care of herself.” Jon turned to Hattie and asked, “Do you want him?”
Hattie laughed and said, “I think he’s had enough. You can let him go.”
Jon slowly released Bud’s arm which he had twisted up behind his back, not enough to hurt him, but enough to control him.
Bud regained some of his bravado and said, “Just you wait. I’ll get even. Just you wait.” He slunk off down the hallway rubbing his arm.
Just then Jon and Hattie were accosted by a hall monitor, “What’s going on here? What happened?”
Jon said, “Oh, nothing. I stumbled into my locker.”
Pointing at Bud’s retreating back he asked, “What about him? Did he stumble too?”
Hattie giggled and said, “Sort of.”
The monitor said, “Don’t do any more stumbling,” and turned to leave.
Hattie stepped closer to Jon and said, “I think he saw the whole thing.”
Jon said, “I think he did too. Where did you learn those moves?”
Hattie replied, “I’ve studied Ischon Ru.”
Jon replied, “Hey, that’s neat. I’ve studied Tai Kwan Do. Maybe we could get together and share some moves sometime.”
“Sounds like fun. Sure. Right now I think we need to get into homeroom so we aren’t marked as absent.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
Jon actually spent most of the day with Hattie since they were in the same classes the majority of the day. After homeroom Jon didn’t see much of Bud but he knew that Bud always tried to make good on his threats. Jon was concerned for Hattie. He didn’t know how she would handle it if Bud managed to gather a group of like-minded guys together to back him up. Jon made sure that when Hattie left the building he was with her and it turned out to be a good thing that he did.
As they were walking out to where the buses were lined up to take the kids home Bud with three other tough looking characters accosted them. His three associates spread out to surround them as Bud started to speak. “You think you’re tough, don’t you. The two of you managed to get the best of me, well; (suggest changing semi-colon to comma) It’s time to pay you back.”
Jon stepped forward until he was nose to nose with Bud before he said, “You think you’re tough when it’s four guys against one guy and a girl. Why don’t we settle this, just you and me?”
Hattie said, “Wait a minute, I want him!”
Bud was incredulous. He sputtered, “You? A girl? You think you can take me?”
Jon said, “You’ve got a choice then, her or me. Which will it be? Do you want a girl to beat you?”
As Jon was saying this one of Bud’s cronies grabbed Hattie’s arms from behind. She didn’t hesitate, she bent at the waist and reached between her legs and grabbed her attacker’s leg and pulled it up as she stepped back so that he fell and she landed on his stomach with him letting out a lusty grunt of surprise and pain. The fall had made him release her and she scrambled to her feet again.
That had apparently been a signal and the other two each grabbed one of Jon’s arms. He surprised them when he broke free so easily. Using a little superspeed he windmilled his arms which broke their grips and brought his arms up under one of each of theirs, trapping it against his body. He used them as support and brought both feet up and kicked/pushed Bud in the stomach so that he fell back and away with the wind knocked out of him. He brought his feet back down and then moved his arms so that the two he had hold of were pulled into one another, colliding and then falling backwards.
Hattie was standing over her opponent in a threatening stance and said, “Don’t you get up! If you do I’ll just have to knock you down again.” She shouted to Jon, “How are you doing partner?”
Jon chuckled at this. He hadn’t thought of them as partners. He replied, “I’m okay, how about you?”
Chuckling she replied, “I’m fine but he’s a little the worse for wear.” She pushed her opponent back down to the ground with her foot as he tried to get up. She said, “I said, stay there. I meant it.”
Just then a teacher came up. She took in the scene and asked, “Okay, what happened here?”
Hattie replied, “This gang thought that they’d have an easy time of it picking on one guy and a girl. It wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be.”
The teacher pulled out a pad and pencil, “Names?”
“What about these four?”
Jon pointed at Bud and said, “That’s Bud Kyle. I don’t know the other three.”
“How did this happen?”
“Well, Hattie and I both are karate students. It came in handy.”
“Okay, all of you, to the office. I’m calling all of your parents.”
Hattie offered her hand to her defeated opponent to help him up which he sullenly refused. Hattie shrugged and moved over next to Jon. She noticed his expression and said, “Hey, don’t look so glum. We didn’t do anything wrong! They attacked us. All we did was defend ourselves. You know, we make a pretty good team. Kaplin and Kent, not as good as Batman and Robin or Superman and Ultra Woman, but, it’ll do.”
Jon started to smile as he asked, “How come your name comes first?”
She smiled back as she replied, “Because I took out mine first and besides, ‘A’ comes before ‘E’ in the alphabet. Kaplin, Kent. You see?.”
“Going by that logic then it should be Kent and Lane, not Lane and Kent. Besides, I had to deal with three!” Jon countered in a teasing tone.
Hattie replied, “You just got lucky.”
They continued their friendly banter all the way to the office. All names were taken and parents called. While waiting for the parents to arrive each individual was interviewed about what had happened.
Bud tried to throw the blame on Jon. When Jon was interviewed he was asked about the incident in the hallway that morning. Jon explained exactly what had happened and mentioned that he thought the hall monitor had seen the incident.
When all had been interviewed the parents started arriving. When Lois and Clark arrived, Hattie recognized them. With awe in her voice she said, “Wow, Lane and Kent. Wait a minute, Jon Kent! They’re your folks?”
Proud of his parentage Jon said, “Yep, my mom and dad. Come on, I’ll introduce you.” He took her hand and almost dragged her over to his parents. “Mom and Dad, I’d like to introduce you to Hattie Kaplin. Hattie, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, my parents.”
Lois reached out her hand and shook Hattie’s.
When she finished Hattie looked a Lois with hero worship and said, “Wow, you’re my hero! Years ago, I decided that I wanted to be a reporter just like you.”
“Well, Hattie, all I can say is study hard to prepare yourself.” She turned to Jon and said, “Okay, it’s only the first day of school and already you’re in trouble?”
Hattie spoke up in Jon’s defense, “No! We aren’t in trouble! All we did was defend ourselves. This gang tried to beat us up but the Dynamic Duo turned the tables on them.”
Lois and Clark both had quizzical looks on their faces as Lois asked, “Dynamic Duo, I thought that was Batman and Robin. What happened? Why don’t you start at the beginning?”
Hattie started it off, “Well, it all started when Bud shoved Jon into his locker.” Lois had a shocked look on her face and Jon was chagrined. Hattie saw this and added, “He came up on him from behind.” Lois let out a sigh of relief as Hattie continued, “Then he tried to shove past me. I defended myself and Bud fell. When he got up he was really mad but Jon got between me and him and he stopped him from hitting me, or at least trying to hit me. I still think I could have taken him, but Jon didn’t give me a chance. Oooohhh he made me so mad, picking on Jon that way, just cause he wears glasses. You know what I mean?”
When she asked this question she had to stop to take a breath and Lois stopped her by turning to Jon and asking, “Is that how it happened?”
Jon said, “It’s true, every bit of it. Honest. I used my training to try to stop a fight, but Bud just got madder. Then when we were going to get on the bus him and three other guys were going to beat us up, but, (suggest removing this comma) we stopped them.”
Lois turned to Hattie, “Well, young lady, are you alright?”
“Me, yeah, not a scratch. You should see the other guy though. He got the worst of it.”
Just then the principle called in the Kents.
Lois and Clark were in the office for a rather short time. When they came out they said to Jon, “Okay, let’s go. You’ve been released into our custody.” Seeing the stricken look on Jon’s face she started to laugh, “Just kidding. The teacher saw the whole thing so the Principal knows what happened and you’re free to go; you too Hattie. Because of this you’ve missed your bus and they haven’t been able to contact your folks though. Do you want to come home with us until we can get hold of them?”
Hattie was excited at the prospect and blurted out, “Sure! Wow! I mean, if it won’t be too much trouble.”
Lois said, “No trouble. Do you have your books? You and Jon could work on your homework while we wait for your parents.”
“They’re right over there next to Jon’s”
“Okay, kiddos, grab your books and let’s go.”
They all went out and climbed into Lois’ Jeep and headed home.
This was the start of a friendship that lasted all through middle and high school. The friendship was characterized by an easy camaraderie. They spent a lot of time together and even dated occasionally, but, theirs was not really that kind of relationship. Hattie became more like another sister to Jon and one of Lara’s best friends.
In their senior year, Hattie was dating Billy Haskell, one of Jon’s best friends and football team mates, but when it came time for the prom, at the last minute Billy got sick. Jon really hadn’t dated through school and had no plans to go to the prom, but as a favor to Hattie and Billy, Jon went as Hattie’s prom date.
In the course of time, Hattie got her wish. Through diligent study she graduated with honors from MetU in Journalism and worked for some time at the Daily Planet. Eventually becoming a reporter and working for the editorial team of Lane and Kent.