Description: Clark's son goes to kindergarten, and, like most young children, comes home with the chickenpox. Calamine Lotion anyone? Fluff and Humor.
Author's Note: This is an AU story. I use the same universe I created for my other fic, Meant to Be. You do not need to read MTB to enjoy this, though a few things mentioned here might make a tad more sense if you did.
Special Thanks to: Tiamax and Dandette, who helped beta.
Caution: May cause uncontrollable giggles. Some spoilers to Meant to Be.
Disclaimer: The characters depicted in this story belong to DC comics; they do not belong to me, I only wish they did. The only things here that belong to me are the story idea and the characters I created for it.
Clark and Lois had been married for seven years now, and had a son who had just entered kindergarten.
The world had changed a great deal over the past decade, much of it surrounding a certain Kryptonian and a shiny green rock.
Cancer and many other grave illnesses and diseases had been eradicated. A cheap and powerful energy source had been discovered, giving everyone access to technologies a number of countries could only dream of a dozen years ago.
The world had changed, but also stayed very much the same.
People worked and earned a living, children went to school or were taught at home, and the occasional crime had to be thwarted by the authorities or by Superman himself. Natural disasters still occurred occasionally, but with stable governments (thanks to solid energies and caring people) and Superman, the destruction didn't linger for long.
It was the beginning of the new Era.
Michael Johnathon Kent was five years old and the spitting image of his father. He was enjoying kindergarten so far, and was eager to please his parents. He knew of his dad's abilities and his 'other' job, and enjoyed flying as much as any boy would. He had already started showing some of his heritage—being stronger than the average bench presser, faster than the normal 100 yard runner, and wiser than most ten times his age.
Of course, he was still just a child, just as Clark had been all those years ago.
This day was much like every other day, well, since he began school, but it soon became apparent this one was going to be different.
Michael didn't feel well. He felt off, grumpy and, now that he thought about it, down right itchy.
Getting off the bus, he hurried inside, hoping his mom or dad would be able to take away the yucky feeling he was suffering from.
"Michael, how was school, honey?" Lois asked, hearing the door open and shut.
"Okay, I guess," he said, dragging his feet on the carpet.
Lois heard his tone and quickly went to him.
"What's wrong? Did you get picked on or something?" she asked, while thinking, 'If anyone picked on you, point out who they are and they will never do so again!'
"No… I just… I don't feel too good," he muttered.
Lois was instantly concerned. Michael rarely got sick, and when he did, it never got to the point of him admitting it.
She put her hand on his forehead, finding a slight fever.
"Hmm," she said. "Do you have a headache? Stomachache? Or do you just feel yucky?"
"Yucky and itchy," he said, moving his hands to the rim of his shirt. "And look it, I'm getting dots! What are they?" he asked, lifting up his shirt and showing his tummy.
Sure enough, there were little spots, and Lois instantly knew what they meant.
"Chickenpox," she stated.
Michael's eyes widened.
"I'm going to turn into a chicken! I don't want to turn into a chicken! I'm not like Larry the Cucumber!" he exclaimed, the sickness clearly making him jumpy, slightly hysterical and arguably mental.
"No-no, honey. It's just a childhood illness. Nearly everyone has to go through it. I did," she said.
He calmed down, happy he wasn't the only one who had to fight off from becoming a chicken.
"Did daddy?" he asked.
"I don't know, but we'll ask him when he gets home, okay? Until then, just go sit on the couch, and I'll go see if I can find something that will help with the itching. Oh, and don't scratch, it will only make it worse."
"Okay…" he said, forcing his fingers away from one particularly itchy spot that had just appeared on his arm.
O o O o O
Superman had just finished giving his weekly blood donation at STAR Labs and was now quickly heading home. It was now a routine, donating, which gave a constant supply of the special protein to hospitals around the world. There was a synthetic equivalent, but nothing was as good as the natural stuff, yet anyway.
Changing back into Clark, he entered his house, an odd smell coming to his nose.
What on earth was that?
"Lois? Michael? What's that smell?" he asked, entering the living room.
"Calamine lotion," Lois answered, closing the bottle. "Michael has the chickenpox."
Michael was laying on a towel, his spots having a generous dab of lotion on each.
"The chickenpox?" Clark asked.
"Yeah, apparently he got it from his class, but oh well. Better he get it now than later. He already knows what they're covering right now, so missing school isn't going to hurt him," Lois said.
"I never got chickenpox," Clark muttered.
"Well, he isn't only Kryptonian," Lois reminded.
"Ah, that's true. So how long does chickenpox normally last?" he asked.
"Well, I'd say he'll be staying home for a week," Lois said.
Clark nodded, going to his son and patting his head comfortingly. He hated feeling helpless, even if it was about something as simple as his kid being sick and him being unable to make him better.
"How about some ice cream, buddy? I can go get you some," he said, wanting to cheer him up.
Michael smiled at that, nodding.
O o O o O
It was yet another day in Metropolis, and sadly, a day that called for Superman to fly in and rescue a few someones from a dire situation, and one that had bad memories for Clark. An apartment fire.
Thankfully, it was not as devastating as the one that led to him meeting David, but he was still glad when it was all over.
He flew down and landed to speak with some of the firemen.
"Be careful on the fourth floor. I saw that some of the main beams had been weakened slightly," he said to the chief.
"Ok, we will. Thanks, Kal," the chief replied.
Most of the rescue personnel had shifted to calling him by his Kryptonian name, which he was more than happy to go by. It made him feel a little less alien, not that that really troubled him anymore, not after the talk Nurse Schmitt had had with him after the Sarkov confrontation in front of the court house, but it was still nice.
Clark unconsciously began scratching the side of his neck, a bothersome stubborn itch residing there.
The Chief asked him a few more questions about the upper floors, where the fire had started, as another itch surfaced, this one on the top of his hand.
"The sixth floor is in total shambles, and the seventh isn't much better," Clark said, oblivious to the attack his other hand was dishing out to the small red spot on his other.
"Uh… Kal, are you okay?" the Chief asked, finding the blurring hand a tad disturbing.
Clark looked down at his hands, suddenly realizing what he was doing.
"What the…?" he asked, finding the little sore on his skin, his eyes growing wide.
The chief looked at his hand, actually grabbing his wrist to lift it a little to get a closer look.
"It looks…" the fire chief began, "Like a bug bite or something."
"It's itching like crazy," Clark admitted.
"Hmm, maybe we should take a look at you. There's no Kryptonite around, is there?" he asked.
Everyone knew about what Kryptonite could do to him, since it was the reason why the world had changed the way it had.
"No, I don't feel dizzy or anything, just a little tired, besides whatever this is," he said.
"Well, let's get you to your doctor, just to be safe," he said.
O o O o O
Dr. Price shook his head, utterly confused.
"Kal, I don't know what to tell you, but somehow your body has caught a virus. It's similar to the Varicella-ZosterVirus," Price said.
Price was Kal's personal doctor. He knew he was Clark, and had been his doctor for about eight years now.
"Well that sounds terrible," Clark stated. "Wait, Varicella… as in the chickenpox?"
"Yeah. Have you been near anyone who might have had chickenpox?" he asked.
Clark bowed his head slightly, while bring his hand up just over his eyes. He was about answer, but Lois stormed in.
"Clark, are you alright?! I just got Price's message. Our neighbor's watching Michael right now," she said, the door already having shut behind her.
"Oh, I'm fine, Lois… I just…. It seems that I have caught the chickenpox from our son," he said, giving a soft chuckle at the absurdity of it all.
"What? How is that possible?" she asked, Clark now itching again.
"Your son has the chickenpox?" Price asked, thinking.
"Well, if I had to guess, I'd say this strain of chickenpox has mutated slightly, because of your son's kryptonian-human DNA, and due to the slight change, you have managed to catch it," Price said. "I assume you must have caught it yesterday…" he paused, thinking some more. "Hmm, and since you had just given blood, having been exposed to Kryptonite, your body's defenses were a little low, allowing the altered virus to take hold. So, congratulations, you now have the Kryptonian equivalent of the chickenpox."
Clark wasn't really listening, scratching his chest now.
"I just wish it'd stop," he said.
"Clark, stop scratching, it'll only make it worse," she said.
"Easy for you to say. You had chickenpox, I have Super Chickenpox!" he said, resuming his itching.
Lois sighed, finding that, like Michael, chickenpox seemed to make Clark somewhat irrational.
"I'll call you if it gets worse or something," Lois told Price. Price nodded, staring at Clark's blurry arm.
"Are you going to be able to take me home or should I call a cab? Better yet, are you going to be able to fly yourself home in your partly blurred state?" she asked, already pulling her cell phone out. "I will call a cab for us if you can't."
"Oh, that'd be great, I can see the headlines now: 'Super Itchy Superman and Lois Lane call a cab together!'" he said, continuing his assault against three spots that had appeared on his wrist.
Price could barely hold back his laughter now.
"You don't have to leave here as Superman you know," Lois huffed, though she had to admit, it was a little hard to sound angry after hearing his cab retort.
Clark spun, changing into his normal office clothes, and then resumed his itching.
"Good luck," Price whispered apologetically to Lois as Clark headed towards the door.
"Thanks. I'm going to need it… I practically have two sick babies now," she whispered back.
"I heard that," Clark said.
O o O o O
"Clark, it's not that bad!" Lois said, putting the pink lotion on him.
They had just returned from STAR Labs, relieving the neighbor from watching their son. Michael was still in the same place Lois had placed him before she had gone to STAR Labs. He was teetering on the border of sleep.
So currently, Michael and Clark were on the living room floor, laying on towels, both in shorts and resting in the sunlight streaming from the large bay window.
They were both on their stomachs, Michael facing away from Clark and basking in the sun, an odd lumpy towel under his head.
"It smells really bad, really really bad," Clark complained. "It smells worse than that bomb I hugged in the bank that one time, you remember that?"
"Yes, I remember, but the lotion is helping your son, so it stands to reason that it will help you too," she said, motioning to the nearly sleeping, lotioned-up five-year-old a few feet away.
"What son? All I see is a black-headed, beakless flamingo!" Clark said, before sighing and collapsing back on the towel. "It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for the smell…."
"Okay, fine… I'll go ahead and do for you what I did for Michael. Just lie still and don't move, itch, or even wiggle! I'll know," Lois warned.
"Fine, fine," Clark said, surrendering.
Lois came back a moment later with a slightly lumpy, folded towel.
"Here, rest your head on this," she ordered.
Clark did as he was told, now laying identically like his son.
He breathed deeply, the nasty smell of the lotion suddenly being overcome by… coffee grounds?
"Lois, coffee grounds?" he asked, not complaining at all anymore, just asking.
"Well, they worked for Michael!" she said, clearly reaching the end of her patience.
"You gave some to Michael?" Clark asked, suddenly seeing a similar towel under his son's head.
The smell of the lotion was so strong he couldn't smell the blissful coffee grounds with his son.
"Yes, and he was nearly as bad as you! Yesterday, he tolerated the small pink dabs here and there, but today after you left to make the rounds he was nearly hysterical! He held his breath for nearly three minutes, despite my pleas for him to just breathe. I knew I had to think of something, especially when his lips began to turn blue. I was so desperate I nearly called you, but then I remembered something about how coffee grounds clear the palette in your nose or something and tried that. I was so happy he began breathing in normal intervals again instead of holding his breath to the point of nearly passing out that I…" she trailed off, suddenly realizing Clark wasn't listening to her anymore.
He was asleep, and so was their son.
So Lois pulled up a chair, and watched her two black-headed, beakless flamingos (not chickens) sleep, coffee ground pillows and all.
O o O o O
The Next Day
Clark and Michael were still relaxing, content in smelling coffee for hours on end. It was much better than the sickening smell of that 'horrid pink disaster' as Clark called it.
They no longer had spots appearing, but the ones they had were still itchy without the 'horrid pink disaster' on them, so they now resembled two legged leopards.
Clark suddenly heard sirens….
"You have got to be kidding me…" he moaned.
"What is it, Clark?" Lois asked from the kitchen.
"Gotta go, a few morons are attempting a heist…" he said, spinning into the suit.
"Clark, you can't go!" she shouted. "You're all patchy with pink lotion!"
"Tell me something I don't know, but they are at a stand still right now, so, smelly lotion or not, I'm needed," he said.
"The press will be there," she stated.
"When are they not?" Clark sighed, a pink circle of lotion on the side of his neck, a small one on his left hand, a large one on his right wrist, and a little one on his cheek.
Soon after, the legendary sonic boom roared over Metropolis.
O o O o O
It was over quickly, the bad guys unarmed and in the custody of the cops, but perhaps the speed of the criminal's capture had more to do with them being distracted than Superman's abilities.
"What on earth happened to you, big blue?" one of the caught gangbangers, who had the courage, asked.
"Nothing I care to tell you," Kal stated, not in the mood to alleviate the man's curiosity.
"Bug bites?" the man asked, clearly not taking the hint.
"Officers?" Superman asked. The cops firmly guided the cuffed man away and into one of the patrol cars.
Clark suddenly realized he was under the scrutiny of a lot more people than he had initially thought. He heaved a heavy sigh, seeing cameras and news reporters already approaching the police perimeter where yellow tape and dividers were.
"Kal?" Sergeant Mathews asked.
Mathews had once been a newbie, but over the years, he was now a respected veteran and a friend of Superman.
"It's just chickenpox, and I'm not contagious," he muttered to Mathews before he could ask.
"What?" he asked, gracefully moving directly in the way of a camera and slyly motioning to the other cops to do the same.
"Apparently, I caught it from the Kent's son," he said.
Mathews knew of his identity, but none of the other cops did.
"How?" Mathews asked. "Have you gone in to see Price?"
"I gave blood the day before yesterday and then visited the Kents. I suppose I caught it then because of that. And yes, I've seen Price," he answered, mostly honest.
Mathews glanced behind him, seeing the press clamoring to get a good shot of what was going on.
"Go on, I'll give a statement and the brief explanation you told me. Go home and get well," Mathews said, patting Superman's arm.
With that, he bolted home, the press moaning in disappointment when they saw him disappear and heard the boom over them. However, they quickly perked up when they saw Mathews step up, ready and willing to give a statement….
O o O o O
The rest of the week was slow, probably because the entire population of Metropolis was trying their best to be good and safe so that their protector would be able to recover quickly from his illness, and indeed he did.
Michael and Clark got better quickly, becoming blemish and itch free, and, most importantly, free of the pink lotion. This was a good day, Clark decided, until they turned on the tv….
Images of sad people, scratching and searching for crèmes that would help, flashed across the screen, until a man with perfect skin walked in front of them.
'Are you itchy? Can't get relief from skin irritations? Have your children caught the chickenpox? Well then, search no more, for you have found the mighty pink, Calamine Lotion!'
Theatrical music played, the people taking pink bottles behind him, quickly applying it to themselves.
'Get a bottle at your local store, or call this toll free number below. We guarantee you to be freed from any assaulting itch, even ones that would be considered super!'
Clark groaned, quickly changing the channel.
"Well, at least they didn't plaster your face on the screen…" Lois pointed out.
"I am never going to live it down. The evil pink lotion will haunt me forever," Clark mumbled.