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Taking Time: A Tale of the Very New Superboy, by Samuel HawkinsTaking Time: A Tale of the Very New Superboy, by Samuel Hawkins
  by Samuel Hawkins

CHAPTER NINE:  UP FROM THE SKIES!


Clark Kent was sitting under the apple tree on the line between the Kent and Lang property.  Lana Lang was sitting with him. 

Clark Kent was listening to Lana Lang. 

Lana Lang was talking about Superboy.

"And when he began to cry," she was saying, "it was so sweet!  You could see what a good person he is, when he did that.  How could anyone be scared of him after that?"

"Well," Clark responded, "it sure seems like some people changed their minds after watching that."

"Oh yeah," she gushed.  "No one wants him to leave now.  Not even the Russians."

Clark slowly nodded.  "Well, Iím sure he, uh, feels a lot better knowing that people donít Ö distrust him so much anymore."

"Donít distrust him!  They love him! Did you see the headline in the Gotham Gazette?  ĎWE OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED!í  And they should.  It was obvious that he wasnít bad, or anything."

"Well, Lana, maybe it wasnít so obvious.  Maybe itís natural for people to be scared by things they donít understand.  Maybe they just hadnít had much of a chance to understand him."

"Well, maybe, but I could see it right away.  Heís Ö so good.  Thereís something about him thatís so Ö direct.  Like he lets you see the real him Ö because he doesnít have to worry that youíll find anything bad there."  Clark had no response to that. 

"And to think," Lana said, "that he lives around here somewhere.  It gives me chills just thinking about it.  I mean, he could be Ö" she shrugged her shoulders and looked at Clark, "the boy next door."

Clark smiled.  "Iíll tell Johnny Wu you think heís Superboy."

Lana giggled. "You know what I mean.  Itís just so exciting, that he should be from Smallville.  I mean, of all the places on the planet, he lives in Smallville."

"Just like you."

She smiled, and for a moment seemed to be lost in another world.  "Yeah.  Just like me."

Clark saw the look on her face.  Suddenly feeling like an intruder, he slowly nodded, then quickly stood.  "Well, I better get inside and get to sleep.  País got an early shipment coming in tomorrow morning."

"Oh," Lana said, a bit surprised by the suddenness of his departure.  "You sure you have to go in?  You know they say that he goes on patrol every night around this time.  Maybe weíll see him fly by."

Clark bit his lip.  He understood why this was happening, and he understood how he had to respond to it.  It didnít make it hurt any less.  "Some other time," he replied.  "You know me.  I need my ten hours of sleep."

"But," Lana said, suddenly bothered that he was leaving her alone, "the stars arenít even out yet, Clark."

The funny thing, Clark decided, was that even as she said that, it didnít seem to spark within her any recollection of ... what had been happening just a few weeks earlier. Whatever else Superboy may have changed about the world, Clark knew only for sure that he had washed away all that. 

"Youíre right, Lana," he said, looking directly at her for the first time this evening, "theyíre not."

As he walked away, Lana wondered why he was acting so weird.  Of course, Clark had always been a bit weird, she decided.  Still, there seemed to be ... something, something tugging at her, something competing for awareness within her.  Some realization that ... things were different.  But then, she thought she saw Superboy fly by, and then, she couldnít even remember what it was sheíd been thinking about. 

But Superboy, flying by, did. 

And knew that he, at least, would never, ever, forget.

Even if he could.


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TAKING TIME: A TALE OF THE VERY NEW SUPERBOY Copyright © 1999 Samuel Hawkins, All rights reserved.  This story is neither authorized nor endorsed by DC Comics.  Superboy, Clark Kent, Jonathan Kent, Martha Kent, Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, Smallville, Metropolis, & Krypton are TM DC Comics & © DC Comics, Joanne Siegel, and Laura Siegel Larson.

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