Jilly Milly – Chapter 02
Written by marknew742 :: [Monday, 07 March 2005 13:37] Last updated by :: [Friday, 21 June 2013 14:55]
Superboy knocked on the door gently. The door opened to a busty, but ill-at-ease girl with thick glasses. “Jill Pell?” he asked.
Her eyes widened and her face reddened. She mouthed the word “Superboy”, then cleared her throat and pursed her lips. “You're late!” she said, icily, her voice quavering only a little. “The party was last night.”
“I know. I'm really sorry. May I come in?” She nodded and he stepped inside. He looked at her again and felt a tingle run through his whole body. It must be those “l”'s he thought, aware, however, that other, more tangible attributes were more likely the cause. If it weren't for those glasses, and her awkwardness …”
“So, what are you doing here now?”
He had prepared his little speech. “I came to apologize, to see if there was something I could do to make it up to you. You know, I take my commitments very seriously. But there was an invasion by the Mallians – they're aliens.
Many lives were at stake.” He wanted her to understand how important it was that he fulfill his responsibilities as Earth's Protector – that it wasn't his fault.
But she took the conversation in another direction. “Of course, that's all it was to you – a commitment.” She shook her head. “Why would you want to come to see me anyway?” she muttered to herself. “Well, you've fulfilled this 'commitment' too. You've apologized. So you can go and be a hero somewhere else. Go save somebody's life or something while I go back to the den and watch TV!” She crossed her arms over her chest.
“Please Jill. It's not like that.” She looked at him skeptically. “Well not only that. I mean … you and I,” he stole a look at her breasts pushed up by her arms, “um we could be friends.” Why didn't he just leave? She didn't want him here, obviously. She was just another ordinary girl, wasn't she?
She looked at him quizzically. “Friends? What do you mean?” She wondered what he was doing. Was he attracted to her or something? He couldn't be. He's Superboy. She looked at him again and then looked down, not really catching his expression. She hated her eyes, hated seeing so poorly, and hated the way she had to stare at things just to see what other people could see so easily.
Why wasn't he saying something? She couldn't stand the silence. “Um, would you like a Coke or something?”
“Uh, sure.” She led him to the kitchen. He watched her ass sway in front of him and told himself to stop looking at it. Why was he attracted to her? He had to admit he was. Her breasts were certainly a LOT bigger than Lana's.
“Mom's at Allen's soccer tournament and Dad's, uh, doing rounds at the hospital.”
“He's an important doctor, isn't he? Is he always busy?” He was trying not to stare at her breasts. She'd think he was using his X-ray vision to see through her shirt. It was hard to resist the temptation. But it wouldn't be right!
“Um, I guess so.” She took out a bottle and looked in the drawer for the opener, then stopped. “I guess you don't really need one, do you? You could just use your thumb.”
“That's ok. I mean, I don't like to show off.”
She rooted around some more and found it and opened the bottle. She watched him take a gulp. “We could sit down in the den,” she suggested. “I'll turn off the TV. It's just one of those talk shows – Oprah's interviewing wives who have bigger biceps than their husbands. Pretty weird, huh?” Her heart pounded.
What was she supposed to say to him?
“Yeah, I guess. I've never seen Oprah – although I was on it once.” There he was, bragging again! “I guess the husbands would be pretty embarrassed about it.”
“Some of them. Some seemed to like it.” She held out her arms. “I guess I'll never know about that. And neither will you.”
Superboy thought about that Mallian girl. “No,” he said nervously, “I guess not.”
Jill opened a Diet Coke for herself and steered Superboy into the den. “What's it like, being Superboy and having superpowers?”
“I don't know. I've always had them, I guess, at least, as long as I can remember.”
“Do you like to fly?”
He smiled. “Yes. It's a wonderful feeling. Very free. Would you like me to take you up in the sky some time?”
Jill shrugged. “Yeah, I guess. I mean, if you could. It must be great to be so strong, to be safe from harm, to have people look up to you.”
“Yes, well, it is. But there are many heroes in this world Jill. You don't have to have superpowers to do good, to be admired. Like your father.” Oh god! He couldn't believe he said that! Why did he always have to sound so preachy?
“I don't know. I don't think it's the same. I mean, it must be so exciting, to do things no one else can do. I hate being myself sometimes.” Oh god! She couldn't believe she said that! Why did she always sound so dumb around boys? Charlotte was always so confident and funny.
“You really shouldn't. I mean, everyone is special, in their own way.” He looked at her face. She really was very attractive, if you ignored the glasses. Nice hair. Her skin was a little oily, but her eyes were very blue.
He cast another glance at her chest and then realized he was looking through her shirt and bra at her large breasts and her round, pink and very erect nipples. She wasn't just special. She was as good as any girl he'd …
She chuckled. His eyes snapped back to hers. “You're, uh, checking me out, aren't you?” She laughed nervously. “I mean, are you, like, looking through my clothes or something?”
“No! I … I mean I'm sorry if I …” How'd she know? Was it that obvious? He wanted to go, but he also wanted to look again.
“Oh, it's kind of … flattering.” She leaned closer to him, looking into his eyes intensely. He felt another tingle and bent over and brushed her lips, then put his arms around her and pulled her closer to him. She was so soft.
Her breasts pressed against his chest, and her scent was feeding his desire.
He was kissing her! His arms were so strong, his body so warm. And they were floating! They rose slowly off the couch. Oh god! His breath, his mouth. She had never tasted anything so heady. She felt like she was going to faint, but she didn't mind. She was in Superboy's arms and he was kissing her! She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed herself against him, feeling his erection against her leg. He must be like steel, she thought. Oh god! She could feel his pulse against her leg. Did he really like her? Was this a side of Superboy that no one knew about, or did he do this with lots of girls and no one said anything? Oh but it felt so heavenly!
He opened his eyes and looked at her. They were floating across the room. Oh god! What was he doing?! He separated from her and held her firmly as they gradually settled on the floor. “Er … Jill … I”
“Oh, Superboy!” she exclaimed, running her hand across his chest. I –
“Jill. I … I'm sorry. I, uh, didn't mean to –
“Oh I don't mind! I –
“No, I mean, um, I can't. I, you know, it would – it's not safe … for you.
I mean – if we were … and my enemies knew … and –
She looked at him searchingly. What was he saying?
“I … I better go.”
“What?!” She wasn't sure what he just said. Her eyes instantly started brimming with tears. “But I thought you. I mean, don't you like me?”
“Uh yes,” he said, backing away from her. “Yes, of course I like you. But I … I have responsibilities … commitments. I must –
She stared at him, not believing he was leaving, rejecting her. Was it her kissing? Did she smell? “You … you – just get out of here!” she said, tears running down her cheek.
“Jill, please. Understand. I do like you. I just can't –
She wasn't listening. She was sobbing. Again. He got up and left.
“Can you believe it? It was so perfect!” Sue Roberts crowed. She was standing outside the rear entrance to the school.
“I know! Everybody left Jill's house at nine to come to my party. Everyone except her dorky friends – who weren't invited. Arnie said she was actually begging people to stop leaving! It's just so pathetic,” Charlotte gloated.
“Did he ever show up at all?” Margie asked curiously.
“Are you kidding? The whole thing was a trick to begin with. She didn't know Superboy. She made the whole thing up to get some attention, and it all crashed down around her. She's the laughing stock of the school. That'll sure teach anyone to try to mess with us. WE are the power girls here.”
Margie looked at her friend admiringly. “Yeah!” Then she looked concerned.
“You know, Arnie is telling everyone that we, uh, you know. Do you think you could talk to him for me, or ask Bill? I mean …”
“Here she comes! Just look at her. I bet she hasn't stopped crying yet!” Charlotte whispered. “Hey, Jilly Milly. When is your boyfriend Superboy going to take you out on a date?”
Jill tried to walk bravely by, but Sue Roberts stepped in her path. “Leave me alone,” Jill said, her voice breaking much more than she had hoped.
“Are we BOTHERING you? We're just hurt that you didn't invite us to your little party,” Sue teased. “It sounded like it would be so EXCITING. Did anything 'super' happen?”
Jill shook her head, the tears flowing again. Sue snatched her glasses. “Hey, give those back!”
“You know Jilly, you'd almost be pretty without these. Maybe I'll hold them for you for awhile. See if you have a little more luck with the boys.”
Jill felt around, lost. “I can't see without them. Please give them back to me.”
Sue gave them to Margie, who handed them to Charlotte, who spit on the lenses and pushed them back onto Jill's face, the spit running down her nose. “They looked dirty Jilly, somebody's been crying on them, so I cleaned them for you. Is it all better now?” She held Jilly by the shoulders. “Listen girl, don't you try anything with my boyfriend EVER again, or I'll RUIN you forEVER. Do you understand?” Jill nodded. Charlotte shoved her into the wall. “Come on, girls. We don't want any of her cooties rubbing off on us!”
“It's so sad!” Martha said to her family as they ate dinner. “She's so young.
And there doesn't seem to be any cure at all!”
“Maybe if she went to the Mayo Clinic,” Jonathan suggested. “The best doctors in the world are there.”
“Even if Emily could afford it, it wouldn't do any good. He said the infection is in her bone marrow and it's very advanced. Oh it's such a blow to her, to lose her husband and her daughter in just a year's time. I'd give her my own blood if it would make a difference but Dr. Pell says her whole system is diseased. She could die any day.”
Clark looked up. “Maybe my blood would help. I mean, just a little bit, not enough to make her super, but enough to fight off the infection with my antibodies. So long as she didn't get too much it would be diluted by the rest of her system pretty quickly.”
Martha breathed in quickly, her heart was beating too rapidly for her to say anything.
“Are you sure you know what you're doing, son?” Jonathan asked quietly.
“I think so. Losing a little blood wouldn't affect me. My body would compensate for the loss; the bone marrow would make up the difference quickly enough, especially if I spend some time in the yellow sun. I'd have to use a kryptonite coated needle to puncture my skin, but a practiced physician like Dr. Pell would certainly be able to manage it. Maybe he could even have his daughter Jill help. Involving her might be another way to make it up to her a little for missing her party.” And maybe, he thought, she'd be more understanding after seeing what he went through to help others. He wondered what she'd be wearing.
“It was nice of you to call on her the next day, Clark. I'm sure she understood,” Martha said. “But you wouldn't be in any danger, would you?”
“It might hurt a little. But no, not really. We'd have to keep it quiet though. I couldn't do this for everyone.” His parents nodded in full agreement. “I'll go to Dr. Pell now and talk it over with him.”
Jonathan put his hand on Superboy's shoulder. “Son, you are a real hero.”
“It sounds fascinating Arthur. This would be something no one else has ever done. You would be famous!”
“Now Sharon,” he replied. “Superboy and I agreed there would be no publication for some time, at least until all of the results became clear. If it failed, well, my own reputation might be affected. After all, this is not an approved procedure, transfusing the blood of an alien being into a sick girl. That is why we will do it in my office, without my staff. Jill will assist me, he was insistent on that.”
“I'm surprised Jill would even want to be in the same room as that boy, after he let her down. She said she never wanted to hear his name again!”
“Well, he is Superboy, and you know what girls are like. Saying one thing one day and doing the opposite the next – or even later the same day,” he said knowingly. “It will be good experience for her, in case she wants to try nursing school some day.”
“She might even want to become your assistant,” Sharon suggested, as her husband nodded sagely.
“This is like, so secret. You have to promise not to tell anybody.”
“Okay, okay, of course I won't. What is it?”
“Superboy's coming to my house tonight.”
“Tonight! Again! What for? Can I come too?”
“Uh-huh, but you have to do exactly what I tell you.”
“Sure! But I thought you hated him.”
“I do! I sort of have a plan. Look, he's not coming to see me. It's to see my father and some sick girl. I'm going to help my father, because the operation is a secret. No one's supposed to know.”
“Yeah. You remember that green rock your brother found? The one he said was kryptonite?”
“Can you bring it here?”
“Jill! Are you going to kill Superboy?”
“Of course not. It's for the operation. We need it.”
“Um. Sure. He's away at college. You'll give it back, right?”
“Of course. I just need it for tonight. Listen. You need to bring it now and then wait in my room. I'll tell you when you can come in.”
Superboy pointed at a mass of tubing. “That's the collector?”
“Yes Superboy. It's my own invention. It will collect and filter her blood and then mix it with yours. We not reintroduce the infection into her system, even with the additional protection your antibodies will give. Weak as she is, we need to avoid any undue stress. To keep your blood fresh, we will leave you hooked up to the system, but only a small amount of your blood will be mixed with hers. Jill understands the apparatus well and will monitor it closely while I do my rounds at the hospital.” He patted her on the head. “She's a bright girl, Superboy.”
Superboy smiled at her. She was in a scrub suit, which hid her breasts – but she wasn't wearing a bra underneath! He was sure. Was that for his benefit?! “I understand Doctor. Jill, I'm glad you're able to help. Doctor, you won't be circulating any of her blood back into me, right?”
“No, there is no need to do so, and we will set the valves so that won't happen.”
Superboy nodded. “Good. That's very important. The dilution of my blood with that of an ordinary human could jeopardize my own superpowers.”
“Yes, as you explained to me previously. Now, it will take some time for the filtration to be complete. You will have to lay still for at least an hour.”
“That's all right. I'll have good company.” He smiled at Jill again, who forced herself to smile back. “And Doctor, you will check in on us?”
“Well, I do have a busy schedule this evening, but I will leave my beeper with Jill. I'm just a few minutes away if you need me. Ah! My patient is here. Yes, bring her inside,” he said loudly. A pale, barely conscious girl entered in a wheelchair and her frightened mother walked in behind her. “Thank you Superboy, just lay her down easily. You'll be all right my dear. Superboy and I will take good care of you.”
“Oh doctor! Will this really work?” Mrs. Carson asked nervously.
“I have every reason to believe the theory is sound. But we won't know until the morning.”
“Where can I sit?”
Dr. Pell was aghast. “No, no, Mrs. Carson, you cannot stay here. It would be highly disruptive. No, no, I can't be persuaded. She is my patient and I must have the final decision. You must go back to your home or to your friends in town. I will phone you once the procedure is complete and you can come back and see her then. But it won't be for several hours at least. So please you must leave your daughter in my very capable hands. I have some sedatives you can take when you get there if you need to relax.”
Mrs. Carson hesitated, then stifled a sob and put her arms around the doctor's neck, which she released only after some insistent prodding. She then went over to her daughter and murmured a few words in her ear, then left clutching the pills Dr. Pell gave her.
Dr. Pell and Jill scrubbed up while Superboy rolled up the sleeves of his uniform. Dr. Pell turned around. “I'm afraid you must take that off, Superboy.
It's not at all sanitary. We have a gown for you. Please leave your suit in here.” The boy of steel looked shocked, then shrugged and took the proffered gown into the lavatory and changed there. “Fine, you may go into the examining room. Are you cold? No, of course not. But a blanket perhaps out of modesty? Yes. Jill, please wheel our patient inside. Superboy I'm sure you can walk.
Very good. You have the special needles? Well! The kryptonite does make them glow, doesn't it?” Superboy winced. “Oh, I'm sorry. You are very sensitive to it I see. Jill, we must keep these away from Superboy until we're ready.”
The doctor sedated Jess Carson and supervised Jill as she inserted the IV. He then started the filtering apparatus. “I'm afraid I must insert the needle now, Superboy.”
He nodded and grit his teeth. “I guess I'm not used to it, Doctor,” he admitted with a smile, looking the other way.
“No, of course not,” he agreed. “Fascinating,” he said as the needle penetrated Superboy's skin. He connected the tubing to the machine and a small trickle of Superboy's blood moved down the tube.
“You know, that blanket's a good idea,” Superboy said, teeth chattering. “The kryptonite makes me a bit weak.” He looked at Jill who was staring at him.
“Jill! Get him another blanket,” Dr. Pell ordered. “Please, you must stay alert.”
“Yes, sorry Daddy,” she replied, spreading a second cotton blanket over the prone superhero.
Dr. Pell checked the settings and had Jill take Jess's temperature and blood pressure. “Very good dear. You will make a very competent nurse, if you choose to enter the health profession. It all seems to be working well. I must go off to the hospital. You will manage well here?” Jill nodded. “Of course you will beep me if there is any change in their condition. The filter should be shut off at 7:45 and the tubes disconnected and replaced with a saline drip. Beep me if she has any reaction. But I expect all will go as I have planned. Do you have any questions?” Jill shook her head. “Good.” He walked out of the room, then returned for a moment. “You will beep me if there are any problems?”
“Yes Daddy,” she said brightly. “When will you be back?”
“Not before 10:30 I think, although it may be later.”
“OK. I'll be fine. I'll watch over them, just as you told me.”
He nodded. “Good girl.”
Jill heard him leave and his car pull out of the driveway. She walked over to Superboy. “Does it hurt?”
His eyes were a little glassy. “Huh? No, I … just feel … woozy. Hey … sorry about … last time. Maybe I can … someday.”
She stared down at him, not saying anything. His eyes fluttered. He was sleeping! Jill heard her mother moving around in the kitchen, then to the den to turn on the TV. Her mother hated the sight of blood. She'd never come in here. She checked her watch. Fifty minutes more. Jill looked at the apparatus, then checked Jess Carson, who seemed somehow to be in less pain. Her pulse was stronger too. Jill's heartbeat started to pound, then she told herself to calm down. She leafed through a teen magazine. Ten minutes. Five minutes. It was time. She turned off the apparatus and disconnected Jess from the IV and removed the tubing. Superboy was still asleep. She walked over to him.
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
His eyes opened. “A little better, but weak. Is it nearly done?”
“Nearly,” she replied. She beeped Claire and heard her open the door of her bedroom and walk across the house. “I just hate being myself sometimes.
Especially after last weekend!”
Superboy frowned. “You mean because of the party? Or me?” He sighed. “I'm really sorry about the party. I tried to explain. Was it a big disappointment?”
Jill set her lips to try to stop them from quivering. “Everybody made fun of me at school this week. I was so embarrassed. I was finally going to be someone important. I-” she burst into tears.
“You were going to be important because of me? But Jill, you can only be important because of yourself.”
Claire knocked and came in and handed a box to Jill. Superboy looked up at her, confused.
“No, Superboy. I AM going to be important, thanks to you!” She opened the box and Superboy gasped from exposure to the much larger piece of kryptonite.
“Agghh! No! What are you-” He passed out.
“What are you doing, Jill? You're going to kill him!” Claire said anxiously.
“No,” she replied, moving further away from Superboy with the kryptonite.
“We'll leave it here. OK. Wash your hands and put this gown on. Right. Now help me move the apparatus. I need to adjust it. You'll have to put the kryptonite back in the lead box when I tell you, right?” Claire nodded. “OK. I've got to put the IV in myself. Ouch! Now again. OK. Now push the tube here, and here. All right. I've reset it. Turn it on.”
“What are you doing?”
“I'll explain later. OK. It's flowing.” Jill took a sharp breath. “Oh god! I have to sit down.”
“Are you OK? Does your father know about this?”
“Are you kidding?”
“What if he comes back?”
“Oh he won't. He's at Mrs. Wilton's.” Claire looked shocked. “Yeah, they're having an affair. I've known about it for a long time. He always goes there at night. He said he has rounds but I checked at the hospital and he's not scheduled, so he must be there. Ooooh!”
“Are you all right?”
“Uh huh. Just feeling a little cold.”
“What's all this blood here?”
“That's mine. And Superboy's is there.”
“Superboy's blood is going into you?”
“Are you sure you're not going to kill him?!”
“I told you no. At least, I don't think so. What does that dial say?”
Jill nodded. “When it gets to ten, flip the red switch.”
Claire watched closely, then hit it. The bag with Jill's blood started to empty. “Your blood is going to Superboy. Neat!”
Superboy's eyes started to flutter. “Hey what's –
“Claire, move the kryptonite closer to him.” Claire looked at Jill uncertainly. “Do it!” She looked at Jill and then Superboy and then at Jill again and decided to do it. Superboy passed out again.
“Stay there. You may have to get closer. And turn that dial all the way.
“It got louder. Hey he's waking up again.”
“Get closer. Make sure he stays asleep.” Jill stretched her arm to adjust the machine again, which whirred even more loudly. “Almost done. Closer.” She hit a switch and turned it off, then pulled the Ivs out of her arms. She saw that Superboy was waking up. “Closer Claire!”
“No!” she cried out, getting the box and putting the kryptonite back inside. “I can't do that to him!” she said with feeling.
“What are you doing?” Superboy asked. “The kryptonite … made me so groggy.” He looked at the apparatus. “Hey, whose blood is that?” He looked at Jill, who didn't answer, then turned to Claire, grabbing her wrist. “What's going on here?”
“Oww! You're hurting me!” she cried. Superboy let go. Claire looked at Jill, who said, bravely, “It's mine.”
Superboy's eyes widened. “Hey, I said -- “ He yanked out the IV and stood up.
“What kind of crazy thing are you doing to me?” He rushed over to Jill, lifting her high into the air and shaking her. “Whose idea was this? Your father's? Lex Luthor's?”
“Let go! Ouch! You're … “ her face was twisted in pain, “going to break my arm!”
Superboy glared at her and made a heroic effort to master his emotions. “You stupid girl! Do you think this is a GAME?” He put her down. Jill was trembling. “This is an assault … an attack! I ought to turn you in to the police. Have them arrest you. Your father too, for leaving you in charge here.”
Unexpectedly, Jill started laughing. “Yeah, that'd be perfect. Haul me in for attacking Superboy!” She rubbed her arm and looked at the purple marks that had already appeared. “You do that and … and I'll sue YOU for attacking ME. And Claire too,” she added, looking at her friend. “And if you DARE tell anyone my father wasn't here and try to ruin his reputation … I'll, I'll, I'll say the whole treatment was YOUR idea. 'Cause it was. My father told me you'd be in charge and he didn't have to be here. And anyway, you AGREED. You KNEW.”
There was a moan from Jess's bed. “Shouting,” she said weakly. “What's the shouting?” She lifted her head. “What am I doing here? Who are you?”
Jill went over to her. “I'm Jill Pell, Dr. Pell's daughter. Are you OK? Do you want me to call my father?” She nodded. “OK. Just a minute.” She looked at Superboy, then went to the phone and dialed his beeper number. Two minutes later the phone rang. Jill answered it. “Yes. She just woke up. No I haven't. Yes Daddy. Right away. OK.” She put the phone down. “I have to take your temperature and blood pressure. He'll be here in just a few minutes. Claire?”
Claire looked at Superboy and walked around him to the door, giving him a wide berth and left. Jill looked over at Superboy too and furrowed her brow, then attended to Jess. “Your blood pressure is a little stronger and your temperature is down.”
“I feel a little better. Did you do this?”
“I … I helped my father. It was really Superboy and my father. I … just sat with you.”
“Thank you. It was awfully kind of you. Are you Superboy?”
Superboy walked over to her, ignoring Jill. “Yes Jess. I'm glad you're feeling better. But you should rest until Dr. Pell tells you.”
Jess nodded. “OK. That sounds like a good idea. But really, I feel so much better, already. I … I owe you so much. Whatever can I do to repay you?”
Superboy shook his head. “Nothing, please. I'm glad to have helped you. My moth – someone I know said you are a kind and generous person. You can repay any debt you feel you owe to me by helping others who need it.”
Jess looked deeply into Superboy's eyes. “Yes. I understand. You have my word.”
The door opened and Dr. Pell strode in, a little disheveled. Jill went to him immediately. “95 over 67, and 100.4. It's much better.”
“Yes, it's remarkable. Any side effects?”
“No, Daddy,” she replied, glancing at Superboy.
Dr. Pell examined Jess carefully. “Normally I would take a blood sample, but I think it unwise at this time. You should rest here until your mother returns. But I think you will be just fine, thanks to Superboy.”
“And to you Dr. Pell, and your daughter. I'm so grateful to all of you. And wasn't there someone else?”
“No, nobody else,” Jill interjected quickly.
Dr. Pell looked at his daughter. “Jill, phone Mrs. Carson. You may have to drive them home – that sedative won't wear off for a couple of hours. Superboy, you're free to go. Certainly you can dress if you like.” He took a few notes.
“Mrs. Carson is up but she sounded drowsy,” Jill reported. “I guess I'll drive them. Claire will come with me and help. She's waiting downstairs.”
“Good Jill. I have to go back to the hospital. You can leave them my beeper number. Superboy, would you help Jess into the wheelchair? No no, dear. Even if you can walk, you must use it. Insurance, you know. Easy now. That's right. You'll help her into the van too? Good. Jill can manage the wheelchair going down the ramp at Mrs. Carson's farm. Everything set? Fine. Then I'm off.” He looked in the mirror and straightened his jacket and strode out.
Jill looked at Superboy. She took off her glasses and stared at him intently, then put them on again and walked out of the room. Superboy followed with the wheelchair.
“God! Her mother seemed really out of it. Do you think we should have stayed awhile?” Claire asked.
Jill shook her head. “What for? They were just going to go to sleep. And if there's a problem they'll call my father's service. There's nothing we could do.” She shivered. “Ugh! That house was so small and old. Dusty too. It looked like no one had been in that living room for months! I was afraid to eat anything. I could, like, see things crawling on the crackers.”
“They looked REALLY old! So, like, Jill, I'm just dying! Did it work? Are you 'super'?”
Jill smiled. “Nah, I don't think so. I was really excited at first, especially when I saw that girl was getting better from his blood. But I don't feel any different. And you saw Superboy fly off, just like always. The whole thing about him not getting her blood was probably some kind of personal turn off for him – like when white people don't want a transplant from a black guy. He just doesn't want human blood in him.” She shrugged. “He sure was mad though. That was worth it.”
“Yeah.” Jill stopped the car suddenly. “Hey, why'd you do that!”
“There's a dog in the road. All I have to do is hit something and they won't let me drive for months!”
“Oh, yeah. I see him. I didn't notice. Well, Superboy sure won't be coming to any of our parties.”
“Are you kidding? No one would! I am such a loser!”
“You are not! You're smart and you're pretty.” Jill gave her a look. “Come on, you know it. I WISH I had your figure. I bet Charlotte McKay's just jealous. I can't believe more guys don't go after you. If you could only wear contacts. It would make such a difference.”
“You know they give me infections. With my eyes, it's hopeless.”
“I'm the one who's hopeless. While you go off to Harvard or something I'll end up at the Dairy Queen.”
“You will not. And believe me, I won't get into Harvard. Nobody from Chester's ever gone there. I'll probably just go to State. And you'll come with me.”
“Yeah, maybe. If I ever get through algebra.”
Superboy was nearly shaking with anxiety. What had she done to him? How could he have been so careless to leave himself so open, so vulnerable, to a spoiled, immature teenage girl with a grudge against him. He was so angry he wanted to drill down into the earth and come out the other side. But of course, the last thing he would ever do – create a volcano in Smallville's back yard! No. What he really wanted was to drive his fists through that girl's face, and he was as likely to do that as visit the center of the earth tonight. Where was he? He was so upset that he overshot the entrance to the tunnel. He turned around and flew up into the house.
“Son! You're back. How did it go?”
He looked at his mother nervously. “Uh, fine. Jess seemed to be doing better. At least from what I could see, and Dr. Pell sure thought so. His daughter drove Mrs. Carson and her home.”
“And you? Are you all right?”
“Yes, sure.” He paused a moment. “It was … I wouldn't want to do it again. I mean …”
Martha Kent went over to him and held him. “I know, dear. It's a very personal decision. No one could ever ask more of you than you already give. I saved you some dinner. Would you like some?”
“Yes, thanks.” He sat down.
“Your hands, dear?”
He smiled and went to wash up at the sink, resisting the temptation to show up his mother by using his heat vision to burn off any dirt.
“Jonathan! It's all done. He's back,” Martha called. “Honestly,” she said to her son. “You'd think he spends enough time working on the farm. He has to spend all evening in his shop too.”
“Hi son!” Jonathan Kent said with a big smile. “I'm glad you're back.”
“You're as bad as he is! Wash your hands and take off those shoes before you come into my kitchen!” Martha scolded.
Jonathan winked at his son while he washed his hands. “Everything OK?” Clark nodded. “So what did you think of the great Dr. Pell?”
Clark shrugged, in between bites of roast chicken and potato. “I don't know. I don't want to be critical, but he does think a lot of himself. And he loves to give orders, doesn't he?”
“That's him to a 'T'!” Jonathan declared. Martha looked at him disapprovingly.
“Well, isn't it?”
“I don't like to speak ill of anyone,” she said.
“Is there any more?” Clark asked, showing his mother the empty plate.
She laughed. “How can I be angry when you eat so much? Of course there is!”
The phone rang. “Yes Officer. I'm afraid I don't know. But I'll ask Clark if he knows how to find him. You're very welcome. Goodbye.” She put down the phone and sighed. “It was-”
“I know. I heard.” Superboy was already back in costume. He hurtled out of the tunnel and into the night air. If the escaped bank robbers made it to the woods, the police would never find them in the dark. He flew up into the air and scanned the area around the jail, expanding the search in ever larger circles. Where were they? He concentrated harder. Ah! Sure enough they were in the woods, holed up in Old Kelsey's shack. He hurtled downwards toward them and burst through the door.
“You guys picked the wrong town to rob,” Superboy said.
One of them picked up a gun, but the one with the broken hand said, “What's the use! Come on – just give up.” The other sighed and put it back down.
“Smart move,” Superboy said. “Two charges of attempted murder must be worse than one! And I'm not even a lawyer.” He grabbed the two of them and flew into the air toward the jail.
“Hey!” said the one who had the gun. “I'm scared to death of heights! Put me down!” He was jerking his hands and head around.
“You should have thought of that before you tried to escape,” Superboy said unsympathetically. The man's wriggling was making it difficult. “Stop that!”
“He can't, Superboy. He's scared. You should've seen him before when you had us in the truck. If the door wasn't looked he'd of jumped out.”
Superboy grasped him more tightly. “Aggh! My arm! Now he's breaking my arm! Can't you control your goddamn strength!?”
“Shut up!” the second robber ordered. “You're distracting him. Look at the way you're making him fly! You're gonna get us both killed.”
Superboy gritted his teeth trying to fly more smoothly, but the struggling crook kept shifting his balance. Finally, not wanting to risk crashing into a wall, he decided to land in the town square and march them into the station house. “Here they are, Chief,” he said, triumphantly.
“Hmm. Have a rough time, son?” the officer asked. “You all look a little worse for wear.”
Superboy pointed at one of them. “Afraid of heights. I had to land in the square.”
“He was torturing us! Zig-zagging like crazy. And I think he broke my arm.
There's a law against that, isn't there? Police brutality or something.”
“There's a law against breaking out of jail, and I'd advise you to discuss that one with your lawyer first!” the chief said sharply. “Put them in Cell 5 and cuff them this time Wells, OK?”
“Yes sir.” He reached back to hit him.
“No, no, you idiot. Hand cuffs, not fisticuffs!” The embarrassed deputy retreated to the jail. The chief turned to Superboy. “It's a good thing you're around Superboy. I'd hate to have to rely on my staff to solve a crime!”
“I'm happy to help sir. I don't think they'll try to escape again.”
“No. I think you scared them this time. Good idea giving then a rough flight, but better you do it than we. With these lawsuits they'd probably bankrupt the town if my men as much as scratched them while bringing them in. Oh, and thank Mrs. Kent for me. I appreciate her finding you.” He winked.
“I'll, uh, be sure to look her up and tell her,” he replied. “Her farm's just south of town, isn't it?” The chief stared at him with a friendly smile and waved as Superboy left.
Jill sat in her room, looking at herself in the mirror and brushing out her hair. After all that had happened today it was relaxing to sit wearing just her t-shirt and some loose shorts, playing a CD, homework all done. She did like her long, blond hair, especially when she had the time to brush it really well and make it shine. Her mother thought she was getting old enough to cut it shorter, but the idea of cutting it off just made her mad. She'd always worn her hair long. It would be like cutting off her thumb! She'd never let her mother do it.
She stood up and walked around the room, humming the song. The CD must be getting old. It didn't sound right – a little rough. She shrugged. She knew all of the songs by heart and was getting a little tired of it anyway. She fiddled with her perfume bottles and ointments, moving them around to different places on her dresser and then picked up and put down her old dolls. She wanted to call Claire for the fourth time since she'd gotten home to talk some more, but it was after 10:30 and Claire's mother got mad if she called too late. Too bad Claire didn't have her own phone like Jill did. She sat down again in front of the mirror and examined her face. She liked the color of her eyes, blue with just a tinge of green in them, but why couldn't her eyelashes be longer! At least there were no new pimples coming up. Monday was always the worst – probably because she was usually so stressed out about going back to school and having to face those snooty cheerleaders. All because of that dumb Superboy! Superboy! She thought about him and glanced down at her eyeglasses sitting on the table and put them on for a moment. She looked at herself in the mirror and wrinkled her nose, hating the way they made her look. Then she took them off again, smiling to herself.
For the fourteenth time, Superboy changed course in the skies outside Chester. He had been flying around there for almost an hour, telling himself he needed to practice his aerial maneuvers and to make sure that he'd ironed out the wobbles in his flying earlier this evening. So far so good, except for one crash into a tree – but he told himself that was because he'd changed his mind too late about where he was going. He altered his course again to head back toward Chester, pleased with the tightness of the turn. That was better, much better. He was feeling a little more relaxed. His fear of losing his flying power faded slightly and he started to think more about Jill. He had to see her. He needed to talk to her about what had happened, to try to persuade her to exchange their blood again and put things back the way they were supposed to be. Surely she'd understand that. This whole transfusion was just too risky – for both of them. For all he had told Dr. Pell, it really was just a theory. It's not as if he'd had experience with the procedure. Who knew how her body would ultimately react to having so much of his alien blood? He knew he didn't feel quite right. He didn't know if the feelings were temporary or permanent, or whether they might get worse. Maybe she was feeling ill too! He decided he should check on her. She'd probably still be awake. He used his super-vision and, after narrowly missing another tree, slowly focused and looked at her. There she was, brushing her hair in her room – although he why she was keeping the room so dark? Maybe her eyes were becoming over-sensitive to light, perhaps because of the transfusion! She looked fine, a little pensive perhaps, but there could be all kinds of side effects she wasn't even aware of. She had to understand that!
Determined now to help her, he flew directly to her house. The window was closed. He was about to rap on the glass, but she had seen him already and was looking at him with amusement. She looked like she was thinking, then opened the window. He flew in, banging his back on the sash, which bent it slightly.
She looked at it and then at him. “Well! This is a surprise. You coming to pay ME a visit!” She put her hands on her hips in a slightly mocking stance.
“Jill, I-” Having come in from the dark woods, he blinked at the light and stared at her breasts, which were much more pronounced in her tight t-shirt. Gosh she was pretty without those glasses. She folded her arms across them self-consciously, having noticed his eyes straying from her face. “I have to talk to you.” She shrugged, biting her lip. “I mean, we don't know what could happen to you.”
Her heart was pounding. “We think we know,” she said tentatively, a little embarrassed.
“This isn't science. It's a guess. It's totally different from the situation with Jessica.” She looked at him silently, waiting. “Having my blood run through your system could have all sorts of side effects. It could overstimulate your organs, burst your blood vessels, even kill you.”
Her fingers fidgeted and played with the ends of her hair. “I feel fine,” she said slowly. “Great even. Have you noticed? No glasses.” She raised her eyebrows. “Don't need 'em anymore.”
Superboy looked at her in alarm. Already?!! He hadn't realized … then the theory must be correct, and it was happening more quickly than he had ever expected. “Jill, this is important! You have to understand. You can't just take my powers away from me.”
She managed a small smile, feeling a bit more confident. “I can hope, can't I?” She looked him in the eyes, then quickly looked down.
“But I'm Superboy!”
She was still looking at the floor. “You're called Superboy because you have superpowers. You don't get to have superpowers because your name is Superboy,” she replied, pleased with her cleverness.
“But they're mine!” he said, insistently.
Jill took a deep breath, knowing that would make her nipples clearly visible against her tighter shirt. She felt strangely calm, even with an increasingly emotional Superboy in her room, growing angrier with her each second. After all, for all his power, she felt sure he would never attack her. She turned away from him and walked across the room. “It's not like you'd earned them or anything. It was your dumb luck that you were born on Krypton and came here, instead of being born on Earth like me. I just don't see why you have to be the only one who gets to enjoy being super. Anyway, what are you going to do, sue me? I mean, if this works, you won't be able to do anything about it. And if it doesn't work and just peters out, well, it'll be just another dumb thing I've done.” She twisted around to look at him again, showing her profile.
“Y-you can't do this!” he repeated in frustration.
She turned slowly toward him and stretched lazily. “I think you should go. I'm really not allowed to have boys in my room,” she smiled. “Besides, it's getting late and it's time for bed. I have school tomorrow.” Although now that she'd said it, she realized she didn't feel a bit tired. A thrill raced through her.
“No! I can't let this happen!” He flew across the room and grabbed her.
“What are you!” she started to cry out, but he put his hand over her mouth and lifted her in the air jumped out the window. At first, they flew erratically, barely clearing the fence in the Pells' backyard, but then he started rising quickly and they accelerated toward Smallville. She struggled to get free, but he easily held her, and released her mouth only when they were high above the empty woods. She screamed, but no one could hear her, and he flew another thousand feet higher to make sure.
She was getting frightened. “What are you going to do? Drop me? Kill me?!” she cried.
“No,” he replied, calmer now that he had taken the initiative, “but I am going undo your mischief. I have a lab too, and I'll put together the same machine you used on me and take back what is rightly mine.”
He flew on, determined, while Jill pushed futilely against Superboy's powerful arms, then gave up in frustration. She'd never be able to escape – he was far too strong. She should have known he wouldn't give up so easily. If only Claire had kept him unconscious until she had been finished so that he wouldn't know what she had done. It would have all happened before he would have figured out what she had done and then it would have been too late for him to do anything about it. That Claire – some partner in crime she turned out to be!
She looked around, trying to see where they were. It was amazing how much she could see now, even in the dark. The paths in the woods, even the acorns on the ground from as high up as they were! And they were flying, together, just like she'd dreamed. Oh how wonderful it would have been. She looked at Superboy and felt a wave of envy so strong that she felt she wanted to die if she couldn't have his powers. It was so unfair! Even to keep the sharp eyesight she had now would be enough, to wake up and see the clock without fumbling for her glasses, to walk around so that boys could look into her eyes, instead of the coke-bottle type lenses she had to wear. She just wanted to cry, but she held it in, not wanting Superboy to see her being so weak and pathetic.
They flew on to a hideaway in the woods. He entered the cabin first and pulled her in, locked it with a bolt then looked down at it, staring, immobile, for twenty seconds, just looking at it. What was he doing? Jill looked more closely and saw a slight blur in the air. There was heat rising from the metal. He was trying to weld it shut so she couldn't escape, but he'd lost some of his power! He didn't have enough power in his heat vision to melt it!
Superboy gritted his teeth in frustration and instead pressed the metal together. That would do just as well! He had to work quickly. Who knew how quickly he might start losing his other powers, and how quickly Jill might gain them and become more powerful than he? He had sheets of metal that he could shape into the pieces he wanted, but then realized with dismay he couldn't use his weakened heat vision to do the smaller bits and his fingers would never be able to work finely enough. He'd need tools. Even worse, he had planned to examine Dr. Pell's machine and copy it, but now he feared that his X-ray and telescopic vision would also be too weak. He cast his eye back toward Chester. Sure enough, he could dimly see the outline of the Pell house, but it was like seeing through gauze – his X-ray vision only partially penetrating the trees and unable to see clearly into the house. He'd never be able to build the machine tonight. His only hope was to take Dr. Pell's machine. But that would be stealing! What should he do? He whirled around and glared at her, wanting more than ever just to crush her in his bare hands, which involuntarily had clenched tightly into fists. But no, of course he wouldn't do that. He had to take the collector, that's all! He pushed open the door and pressed the handle shut again and hurtled into the air, back to Jill's house.
Jill watched him go, wondering why he left her there and then realizing he must need her father's machine. Well then, she thought, let him try to get it. She looked at the door he'd locked to keep her inside, staring at it in frustration, and suddenly realized she was looking through it, right at the trees outside. She gave a little scream, then put her hand over her mouth. She had X-ray vision! Could she burn the door down and escape? But she was in the middle of the woods! Where would she go? She looked at the door again and focused her eyes on it, feeling a new power in them. Sure enough, the wood started drying and then smoking slightly. She stopped suddenly. What if it caught fire, but she couldn't get out?! No. She ran to the door pushed hard at it, then started pounding on it with her fists, but she couldn't budge it. Well, she surely didn't have any super-strength! She'd have to wait for him to come back. He wouldn't be able to do anything to her tonight. She was sure of it. She looked around the room and on the walls. So many books! Most were in foreign languages. But this one looked interesting! She grabbed a book with handwriting in it and settled into a chair.
Superboy felt funny about breaking into the Pell house. It seemed quiet enough, but then he saw a light upstairs. He flew up to look, unable to see through the wall. It was Dr. Pell, reading in the study. At least he wasn't in the lab! Superboy flew around the house. The light was off. He looked around the room, trying frantically to make out the equipment in the dark. He couldn't see it anywhere. He stealthily opened the window and flew inside, looking at all the cabinets in turn. Nothing! What if it was at the hospital? What would he do? He couldn't just take hospital equipment. He'd have to talk to the administrator and then explain everything. But then everyone would know how stupid he'd been! And what if they didn't help him? No! He had to handle this problem himself.
There had to be another way. He knew! The Mayo Clinic! He knew one of the chief doctors there and no one there would know about the recent transfusion with Jessica. He'd tell him he was doing research and needed to borrow a machine for a transfusion. They'd give it to him for sure! He'd go tomorrow, right after school! Then he realized Jill was still at his hideaway. He couldn't keep her there all night. Reluctantly he flew back to the woods. He'd bring her home, tell her he'd changed his mind, then bring her back again tomorrow. OK. That was a plan. He looked down. Where was the cabin? He glanced around. He couldn't see it anywhere. He tried to look deeper into the woods. Nothing! He flew down, closer to the ground and started to panic. Where was it? Was he lost? He flew up into the sky again and banged into a thick branch, snapping it off with his shoulder and hurtling off into another tree before righting himself. He felt a twinge in his arm, which quickly vanished. Just his imagination. He cleared the trees and tried to get his bearings. He realized his mistake. He was too preoccupied and just hadn't gone far enough yet. He continued on and found the cabin. He burst through the door. There was Jill, and she was reading his diary!
“Well, hi Clark Kent! You're Aunt Martha's son. I never would have guessed!” she chuckled. “It's like we're cousins!”
“Give that back to me! It's private!” He flew across the room and snatched it out of her hands.
She glared up at him. “Yeah, like I care about that? You kidnapped me, remember? Then you lock me in a room with no TV or anything to eat, nothing to do but read books from Krypton or your diary. What do you think I'm going to do?” She stood up, her hands on her hips and feeling more combative. “I can see you didn't bring back the collector, did you? 'Cause you couldn't find it. And you know why?” She smiled. “Because I took it apart! I told Daddy I'd clean it, but I haven't done it yet.” She crossed her arms across her chest. “And since he's at a conference I won't have to do it for at least a week.”
“I'll just get another one.”
“I don't think so! It's experimental.”
“I'll make one!”
“You don't know how it works.”
Jill bounced her arms for emphasis. “You won't know for sure that it'll work. Are you going to take the chance that an experimental filter may not keep our blood separate? It took Daddy three years to get it right.”
“It can't be that hard. I'll take that chance.”
“You know, I have X-ray vision now!” she said, in the same tone a girl would use to change the topic to tell her friends that she now had her own phone in her room. She stared at the “S” on his uniform. “I can see right through it – and even right through you!” She lowered her eyes to his crotch and laughed, then looked back up into his eyes. “You know what I see?” she asked in a sing-song voice. She smoothed her t-shirt down and pulled it tightly into the waistband of her shorts, watching Superboy's eyes follow the bouncing of her breasts. “Go on, you take a peek at me – at THEM. It's only fair. I know you want to,” she teased.
Unable to resist the temptation, or the challenge, Superboy stared at her chest, wrinkled his brow and stared again, willing the activation of his X-ray vision as intensely as he could. For just a second, he saw the faintest image – just a hint – of her round nipples beneath her shirt. But he could not see them clearly enough to detect their color or see the lighter skin of the rest of her breasts. Then, to his rising panic, even that image started fading way. And then it was gone! He blinked his eyes and tried again, unconsciously wiping away a tear from the strain on his eyes. It was just an old t-shirt she was wearing. Nothing more than a thin strip of cotton fabric was stretched between her breast and the open air between them. But for him it might just as well have been six feet of solid lead. He stared at the fabric and the bump her nipple made, but that was all he could see.
His expression told Jill all she wanted to know. She leaned forward, letting the top of her shirt flop open so that more of her bosom showed. “Awww, poor Superboy. Don't feel so bad. My mother said that for me to wear a t-shirt without a bra is like most girls wearing nothing at all! So don't feel like you're missing THAT much.”
His expression hardened. “This stops now! I won't let you do this to me! I'll get a machine for a transfusion from another hospital and use it tonight, before anything else happens.” He disappeared out the door again.
Jill raised her eyebrows and picked up another volume of his diaries and read quickly while she waited, more confident now. Half an hour later he arrived, a box of equipment and tubing in his arms. He looked tired, his eyes red with fatigue. “Don't make me get rough with you. You know it has to be this way.” He tied her to a chair and set up the equipment quickly, puzzling a bit as he played with the controls.
“I assume you know how to regulate the flow so that it doesn't burst my blood vessels?” she asked. He looked at her angrily, but didn't respond. “And you've sterilized the tubing, right, so that I don't end up with whatever disease the last person who used it had? And most importantly, you have the reserve of nutrients so that we both don't die while the blood collects in the reservoirs? Oops. Don't see any reservoirs or nutrients!” She said, craning her head over. “I guess it's not my Daddy's model – just a regular transfuser. It'll just mix our blood – 50% for you, 50% for me.” She shrugged. “So that's what you want?”
“It'll have to do,” he said angrily, stifling a yawn.
“Right. And the kryptonite needles?”
“Right here.” He pulled them out of a lead-lined envelope and then started to waver on his feet. “Oh no. Getting so weak … sleepy.” He dropped to the floor, asleep.
Jill rolled her eyes. He certainly wasn't that smart, she thought. Delicately, used her heat vision to burn through the ropes. She stood up and stretched, then looked down at the machine and turned her heat vision on again, this time at full strength, and quickly reduced it to a puddle of plastic, molten metal and glass. She stood over him, thought about kicking the prone superhero and then decided against it and kissed him on the cheek instead and put the needles back in the pouch. Then she shook him to wake him up.
“Come on sleepyhead. Time to take me home,” she giggled. He opened his eyes groggily.
“Wha – you” he sniffed the air and looked over at the machine. His face fell. He leapt up and pushed his finger at her. “You … you fiend!”
She stood, watching him impassively. “Don't BE like that. C'mon, I'm not trying to kill you or destroy you. You still have most of your powers – and all the big ones. Maybe this is as far as it goes. You can share. You stood me up. I got a little revenge. I'm not mad anymore. I think you should just chill a little too.”
“You've got to be kidding! You're taking away my powers, the very essence of my identity, and you want me to CHILL?”
“Hah! You yourself said you don't have to have superpowers to be a hero. Well, here's your chance.” She softened. “But anyway, you still can fly and bend metal and stuff. I couldn't even break those ropes there.” She bent forward toward him. “Please Superboy. Please take me back home. If my Mom comes into my room before she goes to sleep and sees I'm not there, I'll get in so much trouble,” she added, knowing the last time her mother had done that was at least five years ago. She put her hand on his shoulder. “Please don't hate me.”
He shrugged but didn't take her hand off. “I don't hate you. It's just-” He looked at her, and then responding to an almost imperceptible tug of Jill's hand, bent down to her face, and before he knew it they were kissing again.
She closed the gap between them and crossed her arms behind his neck, pulling herself tightly against him. His hands rose in response and held her gently behind her shoulders. She broke off the kiss for a moment to emit a throaty laugh and squeezed her pelvis against his erection, then found his mouth again and played with his tongue. And while they did not float into the air like last time, Jill felt a warmth and excitement through her body that she wished would never end.
Superboy was feeling good too. Kissing her seemed to drive away the fatigue and made him feel stronger and sharper than he'd felt all day. He looked down at her and stroked her long golden hair and admired her body. Feeling more conflicted than ever, he said, “I'm sorry I kidnapped you. That was wrong of me, I guess. But I've got to get my powers back.”
Jill put her hand on her hip. “I'm sorry too. Look … maybe we can work something out. I mean, we shouldn't be enemies. We're, like, family.” Superboy cleared this throat. “Yeah, I KNOW you're adopted and all,” she added, touching his chest, “so it's all right that we're, you know.” She looked down. “Just give me a chance. I mean, I didn't think all this would happen. Give me a chance to experience it, and then … uh.”
“You'll put the collector back together than we'll transfer my blood back to me.” He looked her firmly in the eye. “Right Jill?”
“Yes. OK,” she agreed, and put her head up to his again. He obliged with another kiss.
“OK, let's get you home.” He pushed open the door and picked her up. They soared into the air together, arriving quietly at her house in just a few minutes. Superboy lifted the window and flew carefully into her room, depositing her gently on her floor. They kissed again and he reluctantly flew off.
Jill waved at Claire from across the hall and joined her at her locker. “So, what's up?” Jill asked.
“Nothing. I hate Wednesdays. We never see each other until lunch!”
“I know. I like your beret.”
“Yeah? My mom got it for me. It's not too bad.” She lowered her voice. “Hey, how're the superpowers coming? Anything new?”
Jill didn't say anything, but just looked at her friend. “I like that bra too.
The red looks really good against your skin.”
“Ohmygod! Is it showing?!” Claire looked down at her chest in panic, then realized she was wearing a dark sweater. “Hey, how did you – No!”
Jill raised her eyebrows. “Yes!”
“I don't believe it.”
“Uh-huh. And he's lost his.”
“Jill!” she screeched.
Jill put her over Claire's mouth. “Quiet. I mean, this is so secret, ok?”
Claire nodded. She whispered, “What else?”
The bell rang. “I gotta go for my math test. See you at lunch, ok?” Jill hurried off to her class and rounding a corner bumped into Charlotte McKay, sending Charlotte sprawling.
“Hey, what the – oh it's you, Pell,” she hissed, standing up and checking her clothes. “Shit, look at the dust on my skirt. That's gonna cost you $10 to clean it, jerk. You ought to use a cane to get around here. I'm surprised they let you out without a guide dog. Maybe 'cause you're such a dog already.”
Jill seethed, but simply said, “I wouldn't pay $10 to clean that old thing!”
“Are you crazy? I just bought this skirt for $100 – on sale.”
Jill laughed. “Well, then you got taken. I wouldn't pay that much for something with burn marks around your fat ass. Or maybe it was from your foul farts!” She walked away, searing a few brown spots in Charlotte's skirt as she left. Charlotte turned around and ran screaming to the bathroom.
Jill entered the classroom in high spirits and sat in her usual seat behind CJ Hawkins. He turned around.
“H-hi Jill. Did you study a lot? Mr. Farnam said it's really going to be a tough one.”
“I did a little,” she lied.
“I was working for hours. You know, there's neat math site on the internet that has all sorts of-”
“CJ, turn around!” Mr. Farnam ordered. “You have thirty minutes for this test. I will tell you when to start and when to put pencils down. Anyone writing before or after the test time will lose ten points. Questions? Cecily?”
“Does neatness count?”
“Everything counts, young lady,” he replied, handing out the papers. “All right, begin.”
Jill looked at the ten problems and started writing. Gosh, they were easy! She worked quickly, scribbling down the equations, pausing just once when she snapped her point and had to switch pencils. After fifteen minutes she was done. She raised her hand. “If I'm finished, can I leave early?”
Mr. Farnam looked up from the desk. “No-o-o-o. Check the answers for the ones you were able to do, Jill, and keep working on the others. If you –
“I did all of them,” she replied.
He stared at her. “Bring me your paper.” She stood up and took it to the front of the class, aware that everyone was looking at her. She didn't care. Mr. Farnam looked over the answers, raising his eyebrows several times. He put the paper down and took out his notebook and read it, then looked back at Jill's paper then at her with a suspicious expression. “Yes, very good. Very interesting. No, you can't go. Do some other work.” Jill glared at him, pouted and went back to her seat, flopping down in it. She fidgeted in her chair and looked at and then through CJ's back. He was still on the third problem, and he'd gotten the first one wrong. Poor CJ! She looked at her teacher's briefcase, checked out his sandwich (egg salad, yech!), his magazines (Scientific American, with a porn magazine tucked inside, tch! Tch!) and his lesson planner. How boring! She resisted the fleeting temptation to check out his “package” and then wondered what Superboy/Clark was doing. Could she find him? She was just thinking about what direction to look when Mr Farnam called time and everyone else handed in their papers, followed shortly by the bell.
“Did you really finish it that quickly?” CJ asked her.
“Uh-huh. It wasn't that hard,” Jill replied. CJ looked at her in awe. “Hey, I gotta go CJ, ok?” He nodded as Jill slipped away from him and out of the class. Claire was waiting for her at the usual place.
“Ok, ok.” She glanced over at the cheerleaders' table, where Sue Roberts was about to open her Coke. “Watch Sue ruin her dress.” Sue nudged open the tab on the can and a fountain of warm pop spurted out and covered her and Margie Taylor. Jill stifled her laughter in her fist while Claire stared in wonder.
“How'd you know – you did that?”
“Uh-huh. I ruined Charlotte's skirt too.”
“Get out! Tell me! Are you like TOTALLY super?”
“Uh uh.” She toyed with her knife, trying to bend it. “I don't have super-strength and I can't fly or anything. But I only slept two hours last night and I feel completely ok. And I think I'm getting smarter. My math test was a real breeze, and everyone else thought it was hard. It's hard to tell though.”
“Yeah, I mean, you're ALREADY really smart.”
“I think it's like his blood is slowly changing the way my body works. I'm guessing that things like stamina change early on because giving the body energy is what the blood does directly. And maybe my vision changed first because the eye is so small compared to other parts of my body that the blood was able to act on the whole organ right away.”
Claire looked puzzled. “I really don't understand how it works, I guess. Can you tell now if your hearing and your taste and smell are already super too?”
“I don't know. I could test it.” She cocked her ear and took a sudden intake of breath. “God! Claire, I just had to concentrate, but I can hear EVERY conversation in this room! Hey, do you know who Joey's going to ask out tomorrow? He's gonna ask you!”
“Me? You're kidding!” Claire looked over at him, then looked away shyly. “I hope you're right.”
“Well, he told Jason he would. You know, my brain MUST be getting super. I can hear all these conversations and follow them while I'm talking to you, and it's not even distracting.”
“Jill, you're like SCARING me with all this stuff!”
“Yeah, me too. I don't think I'll concentrate too much on the smell power. The boys NEVER shower after gym.”
“Yeah, I know. God! I wonder if you'll be able to fly.”
“I don't know. I have no idea how I'd do it. But the X-ray vision just suddenly happened, and now it's so easy.” She laughed. “Of course, I could always ask him.”
“Yeah, like he'd even talk to you.”
Jill leaned closer. “You never know. Guess who I was kissing last night at midnight?” Claire's mouth dropped open. “Uh-huh. He kidnapped me out of my room. He was trying to get his blood back, but he couldn't, and by the end of the evening …”
“I don't know. I mean, it was more exciting the first time.”
“The FIRST??? You didn't tell me!”
“I know. Because he made me so mad – running away just when things were getting good. That's when I decided to steal his powers. I think he really likes me – physically at least.”
“Yeah? And what do you feel?” The bell rang.
“Well, like the first time I was just totally thrilled, but now – I don't know. I kind of feel different. But I'll see him again, you know, see what happens.” She laughed. “He thinks I'm going to give him his blood back.”
“Because I told him. I mean, I don't know whether it's because he's in love with me, or with my body, or maybe it's that he's just not that smart.”
“I can't believe this.”
Jill stood up and Claire followed. “I know … but if you DARE tell anyone …”
“I swear, Jill. Nobody.” Claire put her hand on Jill's shoulder. “We'll still be friends, right?”
“Sure, you're my best friend, you know that.” They walked out of the lunchroom. “Even though I could've KILLED you when you shut the kryptonite in the box. You could have ruined everything!”
“Jill! I couldn't. I thought I was really hurting him. I-”
“Don't worry about it. Everything's going to be fine.”