Superman, being who he is, takes full responsibility for his new found son, Jason. The boy's mother, Lois Lane, being who she is, listens in on their meetings. What can she learn from the lessons Superman gives to her son, and who else is interested in the boy?
Looking for a beta reader. Someone with good a grasp of words and plot, well versed in the DC world, and relatively quick. Will receive new chapters via e-mail before they are posted to the site, and check them for spelling, grammatical errors, plot holes, and plain stupidity. Will have the right to comment on how the story develops.
Don't expect frequent instalments, as I have very little time to write. I apologise in advance. On the other hand, the story is complete in my head, so you don't have to worry about me writing myself into a corner.
Chapter 1: Like Father, Like Son
They sat on the floor in her living room, playing marbles. Superman's cape, which usually rippled behind him as he soared through the sky, was resting on the light brown tiles, not really touching them, as if hovering a fraction of an inch above them.
Jason was having fun. That much was obvious. His cheers where louder than ever, his eyes brighter, and his laughter came from a place deeper than Lois had ever seen before. A place that had been locked away before Superman came into his life. Superman, on the other hand, while enjoying the time with his son, had more important reasons to want to play with him. Jason was just beginning to be charged with strength far beyond those of mortal earth children, and he was having trouble controlling it. The strength came in sudden, unexpected bursts that had even less expected consequences. Even today, when Superman arrived, he found Lois clearing out small pieces of what used to be a beautiful coffee table, while Jason was cowering in the corner of the room terrified he would shatter anything else he touched.
Superman remembered that time during his own childhood. He hadn't let his parents hug him for nearly a year, afraid that he would crush them. At least this time Jason had one person he could hold without causing severe internal injuries.
The marbles were a good exercise of self-control. Jason had to use his strength with exact precision to get the marble close to the wall and win the game. Superman frowned as a blue marble smashed into a red one, shattering both. Of course, a few marbles would have to pay with their lives before the lesson is learned.
Superman walked to the wall, his steps hardly making a sound. Lois wondered if his feet even touched the ground. She couldn't be sure. He leaned to make a show of looking closer. Lois knew he didn't really have to bother. His sharp eyes could see all the pieces from where he had sat.
"Not bad," Superman said. "At lease one of the pieces landed right by the wall. Now try with the yellow one, only this time try to get it to reach the wall in one piece."
Jason was shivering. He was a smart boy, Lois knew. He understood exactly how dangerous his new power was.
"You don't have to be afraid," Superman said, his voice deep and calm. "The worst that can happen is that I'll need to get out and buy us some more marbles."
A yellow marble crashed into the wall, leaving a small dent at its bottom. Jason jumped up. "I don't want you to leave!" he exclaimed.
"Don't worry," Superman said. In an instant he was beside Jason, putting a soothing hand on his back. "We have still got plenty of marbles. By the time they are all gone you will be able to trust your strength like you trust a good friend."
Lois couldn't hold her journalistic curiosity any longer. "Is that how it was when you were growing up?" she asked.
Superman straightened up and looked into her eyes for a moment before answering. "Close," he said. "But I didn't know what to expect. At least Jason knows his powers can be controlled. I wasn't sure for a very long time." He smiled, his gaze distant. "I walked around with my eyes closed for three months after accidentally setting fire to my mother's favourite tapestry."
Jason looked up into the lucid blue eyes. "Why did you close your eyes?" he asked.
"Heat vision," both Superman and his mother answered together.
Superman's smile grew bigger. "You don't have to worry about that for a very long time," he said. "And by then we'll figure out a way to train your powers where there's nobody around."
"So no-one will get hurt?" Jason said.
"That, too. And also so that no one finds out about what you can do, if you ever want to lead a half normal life."
"So I can't tell anyone about what I can do?" Jason asked. He moved his gaze from the leftover wooden chips of the coffee table to the smashed marbles. "That would be difficult."
"It's very important," Superman said softly. "Not only for you, but for the safety of anyone close to you."
"Is that why I can't tell people that you're my father?" Jason asked.
"Yes. If people knew, you and your mother would be in grave danger. Any criminal who wanted to get to me would get to you, knowing I would do anything to protect you."
Jason puffed his small chest. "I can protect us."
"You will be able to, one day," Superman said. "But not yet. And not as Jason White. Never as Jason White."
Lois stood up. "Do you have another name, when you're not wearing your tights and cape?"
Superman took a deep breath, letting in air that Lois knew he didn't need. "Let's just say that I know from experience that if Jason allows people to know who he really is, then he will never have a personal life."
"Do you have a personal life?"
Superman smiled and tilted his head. Lois understood. She understood perfectly. He didn't want to lie to her, but he didn't want to tell her the truth either. And the truth was that he, in fact, had a personal life. Superman had another name he was using when he wanted to go out and walk among ordinary people without letting them know who he really was. She wondered how often he used this secret identity. Was it once a week, when he wanted to go to a quiet restaurant? Was it every day, when he went home to get some sleep? Was it more than that? After all, he could travel almost at the speed of light. He could save a school bus from an avalanche in Honduras one moment, and the next be at his New York office practicing – what? Law, maybe? He had a knack for truth, justice, all that. The revelation shocked her, but she sat down again, pretending to be disappointed.
Superman's face suddenly turned very serious. He seemed concentrated on something, obviously listening to something only he could hear.
"What is it?" Jason asked. Lois had noticed before that he was more aware of people around him than other boys. More aware than he should, at his tender age.
"An explosion," Superman said. "Very close to the gas reservoir. I should go. Will you be okay here in the mean time?"
Superman patted his head. "You're a good boy." And with that, he was off.
Lois contemplated for only a moment. The gas reservoir was less than fifteen minutes drive away from her house. She grabbed her bag and rushed to the door. "I'll call Mrs Henderson from the way and get to come sit with you while I'm gone," she called to Jason. "She'll be here in three minutes. In the mean time, don't open the door to anyone. Got that?"
Jason certainly got it. Spending the first five years of his life with two journalist parents, he was used to spending the evening with Mrs Henderson on a moment's notice. Hearing the key turn in the lock he took a broom and continued sweeping the floor at the point his mother had stopped when Superman had arrived. If Mrs Henderson was going to be here soon, there should be no sign of what he had done to the table or to the marbles. Superman said so, and Jason knew he must be right.