Supergirl Fanfiction: Adventures of a Super Family - 46. Family Matters
Chapter 46: Family Matters
Disclaimer: All things Supergirl/Superman belong to DC. No infringement is intended.
“And there is no doubt?” Martha asked. The Kent family was sitting together in their living room and everyone had been quiet for a few minutes, needing time to digest everything they had just been told by her daughter. Calling it a bombshell was putting it mildly.
Karen shook her head, nervously running her hands through her blonde tresses. “I ran the scans three times. It’s my DNA. Well, mostly. She is partially human.”
Clark sat on the couch, visibly shocked and trying to wrap his mind around it. “So she’s… a clone?”
“Not quite, no,” Karen replied. “A clone would be a copy of me, which she isn’t. She is a hybrid, created using gene splicing and cloning technology, but biologically speaking she is my child. Though in a very unconventional way.”
Martha almost chuckled, wondering when her wonderful alien daughter had ever done anything the conventional way. Jonathan came out of the kitchen and handed out some beer bottles before sitting down on the couch beside Kara. Even Clark got one. It wasn’t like his metabolism really allowed him to get drunk, but they still didn’t allow him any, usually at least. There was nothing usual about today, though.
“Where is she now?” Jonathan asked after draining nearly half the bottle in a single gulp.
“She is up on the Watchtower,” Karen replied, quickly draining her own beer. “Adam is with her until I can figure out… well, what to do next.”
Martha looked at her, easily guessing where this was going. “You want to bring her here, don’t you?”
Karen nodded. “She… she is all alone in the world. And she is my daughter.”
“She was made in a test tube,” Clark interjected heatedly, pointing with his beer bottle. “How do we know she isn’t programmed to kill us all or something?”
Martha gave her grandson a worried glance. Clark didn’t seem to take this well at all.
“You can’t ‘program’ someone, Clark,” Karen told him calmly. “You can condition someone, yes, but that takes years. Kona might look like a 13-year old, but she is really just a year old or so.”
“You are calling her Kona?” Martha asked, this being the first time she had heard name Karen had given the girl. “Are you sure that’s… wise?”
She didn’t think Karen had told Clark about the child she had had in her Black Mercy induced phantasy world, so the look of confusion on the boy’s face was understandable.
“It… it felt right,” Karen replied, locking eyes with the woman who was officially her aunt, but was her mother in all but blood. “I can’t really explain it, but… Diana said something about fate wanting to balance the scales and… it just felt right.”
Martha sighed, internally praying that her daughter wasn’t setting herself up for another terrible heartbreak. God knew that she had had more than her fair share of those. She shared a long look with Jonathan, who looked anything but comfortable with the idea, either, but eventually he nodded.
“Ok, let’s give it a try,” Martha finally said. “Bring Kona here.”
“I don’t like it,” Clark said, jumping up from the couch. “We don’t know anything about her.”
“And Martha and Jonathan didn’t know anything about us back then,” Karen replied, rising up to put her hand on her son’s shoulder. “For all they knew, the teenage alien girl they found in a corn field could have been the spearhead of an invasion or someone looking to eat them in their sleep. But they still took us in and we became a family.”
“That’s not the same,” Clark shook his head.
“It’s not, you are right,” Karen told him. “She doesn’t even have her tiny baby cousin along. She is completely alone.”
Clark didn’t say anything, but shrugged off her hand and stormed outside. Karen was set to follow him, but Martha held her back.
“Give him time to cool off,” she told her daughter. “For 15 years he was an only child. Adapting to suddenly having a kid sister won’t happen overnight, especially given the weird circumstances.”
“She’s right,” Jonathan added. “From what my parents told me, my brother Sam threw quite a few tantrums when he was no longer the sole recipient of paternal attention in the Kent home. It will pass.”
“I hope you are right,” Karen said, looking after her son. “I would never want to hurt Clark.”
Martha simply nodded.
“Now, how about you go and collect our new granddaughter?”
It felt weird to finally have a name, Kona mused. She still wasn’t used to it. As a matter of fact, there was a whole lot of things she wasn’t used to, which was why she was terribly nervous and doing her utmost not to show it.
Having spent the past two days on the Justice League Watchtower with nothing to do but wait had already left her a nervous wreck. Thankfully Adam had been there to keep her company, something she was very grateful for. Adam was a cool guy and treated her like she was just a normal girl, not some kind of science experiment gone haywire. He had even told her a bit about his family (who lived on another planet, how cool was that?) and that his wife would give birth to their daughter in a few months.
She could totally picture him as a cool dad.
Now, though, it was time to go to… where, actually? Her new home? She had no idea what a ‘home’ was supposed to be, actually. The closest thing she had ever had was the cage they kept her in at Project Cadmus. She had been very happy to hear that the Justice League had shut the project down (there might have been a little dance of joy). Ever since escaping from there she had feared that they would somehow force her to go back, become a lab animal once again. Now that the danger was past, though, she was somewhat at a loss.
It started with her very sense of identity. She had always believed herself to be a clone of Superwoman and it had come to define her somewhat. What little she had learned of Superwoman while still in Cadmus had told her that she would never allow her to be caged or controlled, so Kona would not allow that, either. Superwoman would bust out of whatever cage anyone dared to put her in, so Kona did. Superwoman would use her powers to help others, so that’s what Kona used them for, too (though doing her best to stay hidden in the process). If she was a clone, then she would be the best clone ever.
Now she knew, though, that that wasn’t the entire truth. Superwoman – or Kara, as her real name was, apparently – was not the original from which she was merely copied. No, instead she was the closest thing Kona would ever have to a mother, a concept that was just as alien as that of ‘home’. Also, somewhere out there was a human man who was her father, whether he knew it or not. It was… weird.
Anyway, back to the very vague concept of ‘home’. At first she had assumed that ‘home’ would be that crystal castle that Kara had at the North Pole (and again, how cool was that?), but Kara had quickly set her straight on that. It was a fantastic place, filled with the treasures of the lost planet that Kara had come from, but it was not a home. Neither was the Watchtower, come to think of it, as none of the League members actually lived there. Not even the green Martian guy, strangely enough.
No, the place that Kara called home was apparently… Smallville, Kansas? Really?
“I would never have pictured Superwoman living in a place like this,” she said to Kara as they walked along a dirt path towards the farm visible in the distance. The Watchtower’s teleportation beam had set them down about a mile away, in order to make sure that no one saw them arrive. Both of them were dressed in civilian clothes, which in Kara’s case consisted of Jeans, a flannel shirt, and – weirdly enough – a pair of glasses.
Kona herself also wore Jeans, but had put on a tank top instead. She might only have less than a year of actual life experience under her belt, but she was already certain that flannel was not for her.
“That’s kind of the point,” Kara told her. “Superwoman doesn’t live here, or anywhere else for that matter. This is the home of Karen Kent, who is a perfectly normal human woman and of no particular interest to anybody.”
Kona could see the appeal, now that she thought about it. Well, maybe not the appeal of rural Kansas, but that of living in anonymity. Living in a crystal castle at the North Pole might be fun for a while, but would probably get terribly lonely after a time. But if the neighbors knew that Superwoman was living next door, well, she doubted that would go over very well.
“How did you end up here of all places?” Kona asked as they kept walking. She had scoffed at the idea of walking at first, given that they both could fly, but it had given them time to actually talk. Almost like… well, Kona had no idea what family was like, to be honest, but she kind of figured it might be something like this. Mother and daughter just walking and talking about anything and everything.
It was weird, but … kind of nice, too.
“I crashed here,” Kara replied. “And the Kents found me. Well, me and Kal.”
Yes, that was another thing Kona was really nervous about. Not only was she about to meet the closest thing she would ever have to grandparents, there was also Superboy, who was apparently called Kal. Kona had known, of course, that Superwoman had a son. Who didn’t? But somehow the notion of actually meeting him… she really didn’t know what to expect. Would he like having a sister? Would he resent her? What kind of relationship would they have? What were sibling relationships supposed to be like anyway?
“I was about as old as you are now,” Kara continued. “Well, as old as you appear to be, anyway. And Kal was only about half a year old. I have no idea how we would have fared if not for the Kents taking us in. They saved us.”
“They sound great,” Kona said, hoping that she wasn’t going to somehow mess this up.
Kara stopped walking and turned to look at her. “I know exactly how you feel, you know?”
“You do?” she asked, skeptical.
“I was in your shoes once, remember? Woke up in a strange world, different from anyone else, no idea what to do, who to trust, and how to build a life for myself. I took a big risk trusting the Kents and they took a big risk just taking me in.”
She stepped forward, putting both her hands on Kona’s shoulders. “We don’t really know each other. We’re still strangers. The Kents and I were strangers, too, once. And then we became family. I hope that we can do the same, Kona.”
Kona looked up at Kara… at her mother, and nodded, smiling. “Yeah, I hope so, too.”
Jonathan watched the two figures as they walked towards the Kent farm and experienced an incredibly strong sense of déjà vu. There was Karen, his wonderful adult daughter Karen, walking with an air of confidence and purpose. Only someone who knew her really well could see the faint traces of nervousness in her body language. And walking beside her was a ghost from 15 years ago. Not only did she look like his daughter once did, she even walked in the same manner. Trying and failing to project an air of confidence and certainty, even as she seemed to fear that the ground would give out at her very next step.
“That brings back memories, doesn’t it?” Martha asked, standing beside him.
“It sure does,” he agreed. “What do you think the odds are of taking in not one, not two, but three alien children in a single life time?”
“Astronomical, I’d say,” she replied, chuckling.
Neither of them really had any idea what to expect. It wasn’t like Karen could tell them a lot about what Kona was like, as she didn’t really know herself. All they knew was that the girl had escaped from truly horrendous circumstances and had then lived on the streets of Metropolis for a few weeks. During which she had used her powers to help save people from a burning building, so Jonathan figured that Karen’s genes bred true in that regard.
The thing to keep in mind, he reminded himself, was that this girl might look like a teenager, but she was really just about a year old or so. Apparently these Cadmus people (who could burn in the deepest pits of Hell for all he cared) had somehow accelerated her growth and given her the basic knowledge and vocabulary of a teenager, but in terms of life experience she was practically a newborn.
Then again, Martha and he did have some experience with teenage girls who knew absolutely nothing about life on planet Earth. Hopefully that would come in handy during the days and weeks to come.
Karen and Kona were now walking up to the house, so Martha and Jonathan got up and went to meet him.
“Kona, these are Martha and Jonathan Kent. Officially, they are my aunt and uncle. In reality, they are my mom and dad.”
Jonathan couldn’t help but grin. It hadn’t been that long ago that Karen had still had trouble calling them by those names, feeling as if she was betraying the memory of Alura and Zor. He was very happy that Karen finally felt secure enough to realize that one could love – and be loved – by more than one set of parents.
“Mom, dad, this is Kona… my daughter, your grand-daughter.”
The girl looked up at them with a look on her face that Jonathan recognized all too easily. The look of someone who has not really sure she was welcome. How many years had it taken before Karen believed, truly believed, that the Kents hadn’t just taken her in because of baby Clark?
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Kent,” Kona finally said, giving a shy wave.
He and Martha shared but the briefest of looks before Martha took a step towards the girl. “None of that now, Kona. You can calls us Jonathan and Martha.”
And then she swept the girl up in a hug. At seeing Kona’s deer-in-the-headlights look, Jonathan couldn’t help but chuckle.
She found Clark sitting on a tree stump about three miles away from the Kent farm. She was familiar with the place, actually, as she was the one who had found it years ago when she had still been a teenager. It was distant enough from home that no one could bother her, but just close enough that she could keep the farm in sight with her supervision without it disappearing behind the curvature of the Earth. She had often used it as a getaway when things had become too stressful, enjoying the quiet while still able to keep an eye on Clark.
Now it seemed Clark was using it for the same purpose.
“They like her,” Clark said, having noticed her arriving, of course. The days when she could successfully sneak up on her own son were long over, their super senses now at an even level.
“Yes, they do,” Kara agreed, sitting down beside him. “Of course, mom and dad like pretty much everyone unless they are evil incarnate.”
They were quiet for a while, both of them using their supervision to watch as Martha and Jonathan showed Kona around the house and to the room they had prepared for her. It was little more than a room with a bed and a closet so far. It had been a storage room before. It was Kona’s first room of her own ever, though, and she seemed delighted at the prospect.
“I’m sure she would like to meet her brother, too,” Kara finally said.
“I’m not her brother,” Clark grumbled. “She’s… I don’t even know what she is.”
“She is not a ‘what’, for starters,” Kara told him. “She is a girl, and she needs someone to take care of her.”
“But why does it have to be you?” Clark asked. She looked at his face and saw the worry in his eyes.
“You know why, Clark,” she answered.
“Yeah,” he scoffed. “She’s your child. Your actual biological child. Unlike…”
“Stop talking nonsense, Clark”, she interrupted him. “You are my son and you will always be my son, nothing will ever change that.”
She could see that he didn’t believe her. For 15 years Clark had been the center of her life, so much so that he had sometimes resented her clingy nature and protectiveness. And now, quite suddenly, there was another child. One that was her actual biological daughter while he was “just” her cousin.
“She will never replace you, Clark,” Kara told him. “Not for me, not for Martha and Jonathan, not for anyone.”
She leaned back, closing her eyes. “When you were born, back on Krypton, I didn’t like you, you know?”
“What?” Clark asked, taken off guard. “But… why?”
“Because your father, Jor, was my cool uncle. And Lara was the pretty aunt, I adored her. They visited all the time, played with me, it was like having a second set of parents, only younger and cooler. And then Lara got pregnant with you and suddenly they didn’t have as much time for me anymore as before. And I hated it, I admit. I had gotten used to having four adults doting on me. And it got even worse when you were born, because suddenly even my own parents seemed more interested in that little baby than in me.”
Clark said nothing.
“So as cliché as it might sound like,” she continued, “I know what you’re feeling. And I can’t promise you that nothing with change, because it will. I don’t know how things will go with Kona, only time will tell. The only thing I can promise you, Clark, is that nothing will change between you and me. You are my son and I love you.”
Clark still said nothing. After a minute or so, though, he got up and turned away from her. “I’ll be home later.” And then he was gone in a blur of speed.
Kara sighed. This could have gone better.
End Chapter 46
Author’s Note: I’ve waited to bring Supergirl / Kona into the Super Family for quite some time, but writing her is really hard, I admit. In the comics Superboy started out as an arrogant little shit and it wasn’t until he got the snot beaten out of him a few times that he began to mature somewhat. I’m trying to go a somewhat different route with Supergirl here. Hope it works out as I want it to. Writing Clark’s reaction to Kona is even harder, though. Never had a younger sibling or younger cousin myself, so I’m making it up as I go along.
Next up: Clark isn’t happy about suddenly having a kid sister, so he hangs out with the Flash to get his thoughts in order. Just two super-powered teenage boys on their own. What could possibly go wrong?