Birthday Surprise
By Thomas Mc

Author's Note: I apologize for taking so long in updating this story. Life seems to keep interfering and slowing me down. Between that and trying to finish another story that I'm currently working on it is just taking me longer than I like. Please bare with me and I will get the chapters to this thing posted as often as possible.

Chapter 13

Paul shrugged under the weight of the blanket that the emergency crews had placed across his wet shoulders. He was savoring the warmth of Sharron's arms around him as he glanced over at his son, sitting across the picnic table from him and also huddled under one of the emergency blankets. Christopher was staring out over the picnic grounds toward the lake as the last of the injured were loaded into the last of the ambulances. The shoreline was swarming with various government officials that were here to investigate the airplane accident. They were currently examining the tail section of the airplane that Superman had lifted out of the lake and set on the shore a half hour ago.

Superboy hadn't been seen since the last of the people had been rescued from the lake and Superman had left right after giving his report to the authorities. Paul spotted Clark Kent over by the tail section interviewing an FAA official.

Paul's attention shifted over to the right of his son where Kristen and Jonathan sat close together sharing the blanket that covered their wet clothes. His opinion of that young man had completely turned a hundred and eighty degrees around from what it had been this morning. He was thinking that maybe he should say something to them when he caught his daughter looking back at him almost defiantly as she shifted even closer to Jonathan.

Paul smiled back. "Kristen, Christopher." His gaze flicked between his two children. "I just want you to know that I am very proud of both of you." His gaze now shifted to Jonathan. "Jonathan, I want you to know that I am very impressed by you as well. You never hesitated to dive in to help all those people. I'm very glad that Kristen has you as a friend and I hope we will be seeing more of you in the future."

Kristen and Christopher both stared at their father in surprise and he felt Sharron tighten her arm around his shoulder.

Jonathan tightened his arm around Kristen as he responded. "I think meeting your daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me and I also hope to see more of all of you." He turned his smile on Kristen and her face seemed to light up.

Paul nodded and took a deep breath. "Well it's been an eventful afternoon and we're all soaked. I suppose we should all be getting home so we can clean up and change into dry clothes. Jonathan, if you'd like we can drop you off at your place." He noticed the slightly crestfallen look on his daughter's face. "Kristen has to work this evening but the day is still young and after you get changed you're welcome to come back over. I'm sure we can find something to do . . ." He grinned at the hopeful look in Kristen's eyes. " . . . this time without any airplanes falling out of the sky."

Jonathan smiled back. "That sounds great to me." He turned his attention to Kristen. "How about it? Think you can put up with me for a while longer?"

Kristen giggled then shrugged. "I think I can manage."

Jonathan cocked his head looking back at Paul. "Looks like it's a deal."

Paul stood up. "Then we'd better get going."

The rest of them stood up and collected their things then headed over to the area where they would be most likely to find a taxi. When they reached the road Jonathan saw a familiar minivan waiting for them. Lois Lane-Kent stuck her head out the open window. "You folks need a ride?"

After a moment's reluctance over their wet condition, followed by assurances from Lois that it didn't matter, they all piled into the minivan. Lois dropped Paul and his family off at their place. Jonathan walked Kristen up to the front door. Paul noticed that Jonathan had placed the blanket they had shared over Kristen's shoulders. Though Jonathan was just as soaked as the rest he didn't seem to be either cold or tired. Paul found himself thinking nostalgically of the resilience of youth.

Jonathan reassured Kristen that he would be back in about an hour or less then strode back out to the minivan.

~ o ~

The door bell rang and Kristen raced down the stairs, to the shouted admonition to slow down from her father. She yanked open the door and pulled a bemused Jonathan into the house. "Jonathan's here." She called out unnecessarily.

As they joined the others in the family room Paul inquired, "Do you have any plans for the rest of the afternoon?"

Jonathan shook his head. "No, not really." He glanced at Kristen. "Other than spending as much of it as I can with Kristen."

"There is that new movie that came out Friday." Paul continued. "Maybe we can all go to see the matinee show."

Jonathan knew the movie in question was a romantic comedy and a good date movie. He again glanced at Kristen as he responded. "It sounds like a good idea to me."

Paul scanned his smart phone for a couple of minutes. "We have to leave soon if we want to make the matinee showing." He frowned. "It may take too long to get a cab."

Jonathan shrugged. "That's no problem. Mom prefers driving that silver Jeep of hers so she let me borrow the family minivan." He smiled thinking about his mother and her precious silver Jeep (the fourth in an unbroken line of silver Jeeps).

As they headed out the door Christopher was on his cell phone with someone named Anna. They all piled into the minivan and headed for the mall where Kristen worked. While standing in line at the theater for their tickets they were met by Christopher's current romantic interest, a dark haired pretty girl named Anna. They had arrived with plenty of time to spare and were able to get good seats together despite it being only the second day since the movie had come out.

~ o ~

The movie did not disappoint. It delivered humor and a strong romantic mood. By the time it was over it felt more like a triple date rather than a family outing. After the movie the three couples headed over to the food court for a quick dinner before Kristen had to go to work.

Once they had finished eating they all walked Kristen over to the music store where they took their leave. Christopher split off from the group with Anna. She said that she could give him a ride home. That left just Paul and Sharron with Jonathan. The three of them took their time heading back to the minivan, glancing into some of the stores along the way and talking.

They stopped in at an electronics store where Jonathan and Paul found themselves bonding over high end video displays. Sharron found the whole thing amusing. At one point while they were discussing the relative merits of various types of displays Sharron snickered, shaking her head. "Boys and their toys." She commented quietly to herself. She was surprised when Jonathan glanced her way and grinned as though in response to her comment that he could not possibly have heard.

~ o ~

About two hours after they had dropped Kristen off at her job, Jonathan dropped Paul and Sharron off at their home. Christopher was not home yet and wasn't really expected to be back any time soon. Paul and Sharron ended up indulging in the romantic mood that still remained from the movie that they had seen earlier.

Kristen arrived home from work at around ten to find her parents cuddled up on the family room sofa. Fifteen minutes later Christopher arrived home. The family sat together in the family room and talked for a while, clearing the air of the last of the fallout from that morning. By the time they all retired things were back to normal and Paul felt that all was right with the world again.

As he lay in bed Paul thought about everything that had happened that day. Something seemed to keep nagging at the back of Paul's mind about Superboy and the events at the park, but he just couldn't put his finger on it. As he went back over everything that had happened in the park it finally hit him. It had seemed to Paul that Superman had appeared to know his children though he couldn't figure out how. Then he remembered something else that had struck him. After Superboy had retrieved a very tired Kristen from the water, Paul was sure that he had seen a special look momentarily pass between Superboy and Kristen just before he had left. It had looked to him as though they knew each other and he was sure that he had seen a bit more than simple interest flicker in Superboy's eyes.

Was there something there? Should he encourage it? What about Jonathan and Kristen? He did like Jonathan and so did his daughter. It was a dilemma but he doubted that it would ever really come to that. Paul fell asleep with these thoughts circulating around in his head.

~ x S x ~

The next morning Paul checked the news reports of the airplane crash. According to the article in the 'Daily Planet', based on interviews with those that had been on board the plane, it looked like the cause of the crash was a large bird that had been sucked into the jet engine causing the engine to catch fire and explode. The article also stated that there had been less than a dozen injuries, only one was labeled as serious, and, miraculously, there had been no fatalities.

Paul's whole family had been mentioned in the article. Paul, Kristen and Christopher were praised for their selfless heroism in going into the water to rescue those that had been in danger of drowning and Sharron was cited for helping to tend to those that were pulled out of the water until emergency crews had arrived. The article concluded that it was thanks to their actions, along with the several others that, inspired by the actions of Paul's family, had dived in to help, that there had been no loss of life among those that had been out boating on the lake. The fact that the last three rows on the airplane had been empty had resulted in no loss of life there. The actions of both Superman and Superboy were also heavily reported in the same article.

Paul scanned everything about the crash but found no mention of Jonathan's part in the rescues. It seemed a bit odd but he figured that maybe Jonathan or his parents had wanted to keep his name out of the paper.

For the next few weeks Paul's family had to endure the attention and congratulations from their relatives, friends, and peers. Jonathan came over several times to see Kristen and the connection between them was pretty obvious. Though Paul had kept his eyes open for any sign of it, there had been no indications that there was any kind of relationship between Kristen and Superboy. Paul soon began to doubt that he had seen what he thought he had seen that day at the park.

~ x S x ~

Early Saturday morning two weeks after the plane incident Paul was awakened by the sound of the rear door opening and closing. He glanced over at the alarm clock to see that it was five in the morning. He yawned and mumbled to himself. "Who in their right mind would be up at this time of the morning on a Saturday?" He was about to drag himself out of bed to see what was going on when he remembered that it was the first Saturday of the month. That must have been Christopher heading for that flea market that he always visited. Paul stretched and glanced at the bed next to him to see that Sharron was still asleep beside him. As he gazed lovingly down at her he thought that he would let her sleep herself out. Yesterday had been a bit stressful for her at her job – it always was on the first Friday of the month. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. Soon he was dozing off.

Paul was again awakened around eight o'clock by the sound of the back door slamming then the sound of someone running up the stairs. Paul got out of bed and put on a robe while glancing out of the bedroom door. He saw Christopher standing in his daughter's bedroom sounding very upset and scared as he was urging her to contact Superboy.

~ o ~

Christopher had originally considered going straight to the Kent's house but he wasn't sure where it was and he didn't think he had any time to waste trying to find it much less get them to listen to him. He decided that Kristen was his best chance to get to Jonathan quickly.

Kristen was sitting up in bed reading when she was disturbed by the precipitous entrance of her brother. She glanced up at Christopher, feeling a bit annoyed, as he barged into her room. She did a double take as she noticed his distraught state then, frowning, gave her full attention to him. "Chris, what's wrong?"

Christopher glanced back out through her door and saw their father coming out of his bedroom door. He paused trying to decide how to say what he needed to say without giving away too much in front of their father. He shook his head then spoke urgently to Kristen. "Look I believe that you know how to contact Superboy." Christopher again glanced at their father, who was now standing in Kristen's doorway, then continued. "I'm sorry for blurting that out and I wouldn't have said anything if this wasn't an emergency. You have to tell Superboy that I need to talk to him or Superman immediately. They're both in great danger and it involves kryptonite."

Paul blinked twice in confusion then gasped as the meaning of his son's words sank in.

Continued in Part 14

( rev 130514 )

Disclaimer: This story is based on the television series "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." The recognizable characters and settings in this story are the property of D.C. Comics, Warner Bros., December 3rd Productions, and anyone else with a legal right to them, and I have no claim on them whatsoever, nor am I profiting by their use. The story, however, is a product of my own imagination. No infringement on copyrights is intended. This story is presented merely for the enjoyment of fans.