Jilly Milly – Chapter 04
Written by marknew742 :: [Monday, 07 March 2005 13:42] Last updated by :: [Friday, 21 June 2013 14:55]
Jill had helped Claire finish her homework. She figured she'd have plenty of time do her own when she got home, since she needed so little sleep. The two girls were sprawled out on Claire's floor, looking at magazines.
“Why does everybody think Gwyneth Paltrow is so great?” Claire said, pointing at her picture. “She's so bony.”
Jill laughed. “She ought to be called Gwyneth Paltry! I like her hair, though.”
“It's all right. Oooh, look at that one of Kate Winslet. They really made her look so different in that movie about the English writer. What was her name?
“Oh yeah! Iris Murdoch. Did you see it?”
“Yeah, my father really likes her. You should have seen him staring at her in the movie. Mom was so mad!”
“Britney Spears looks good here, but I hate her clothes.”
“Did you ever notice that sometimes she's got a great big bust, and sometimes not? I can't believe she'd be so obvious about using implants!”
“Maybe she has a water retention problem!” They both laughed. “This shot looks good. I like her arms.”
“Yeah, she must work out a lot. Hey, are you going to get big muscles?”
Jill shrugged. “Who knows? I may have gotten a little stronger. I mean, when I bumped into Charlotte at school she's the one who went flying. And I think I'm not as clumsy, but maybe that's just because I can see better. But look,” she said, flexing her arm. “Britney's are a lot bigger than mine. I bet even Gwyneth's are bigger than mine.”
“I guess you'll have to work out then if you want to be a superhero, I mean heroine.”
Jill wrinkled her nose. “Who wants that? I don't want to spend my afternoons on patrol for crooks like Superboy does.” She looked at her arms. “They are pretty pathetic. I wonder how long it would take to at least firm them up. I hate exercising.”
“Me too. It's so boring. My brother Jack thinks it's really cool to work out all the time. I just hate all that grunting he does when he uses his weights. And then he comes upstairs without his shirt on and starts flexing in front of the mirror. Ugh!”
“Allen does too. He has gotten pretty strong in the last couple of years. It's such a pain. Hey, do you want to go down and try Jack's weights?”
“Come on. Just to see if I AM any stronger.”
Claire sighed. “Well, ok. I'd rather hang out here – but I guess Jack is out.
As long as he doesn't come down and make fun of us.” She stood up and the girls went into the cellar. “They're over here.” Claire reached down to try to pick up a barbell. “Ugh! It's too heavy.”
Jill looked at it. “Fifty pounds. Let's try these,” pointing to smaller weights for curls. “These are just twenty.” She picked one up. “It's not too bad.”
“You're supposed to do those with one hand,” Claire observed.
“I knew that!” Jill replied, letting go with one hand. “Well, maybe I didn't.” She tried to lift it. “Like this?”
Jill grunted. “Almost got it.”
“You're grunting just like Jack. Let me try.” She took it from Jill and lifted it all the way. “Hey, I did it. I'm stronger than Supergirl.”
“Oh yeah? Give it to me again.” Jill curled the weight. “See? I can do it too.” She transferred it to her left arm and slowly brought it up, then dropped it. “That arm is weaker.” She tried again, almost getting it to the top and then a third time, getting it all the way. “Ha!”
Claire held out her hand and Jill handed the weight back. “My turn.” She curled it once with her right hand and a second time, slowly, not quite reach the top, then put it down heavily. “Jeez, my arm got tired. Let's go up now, ok?”
Jill had taken the weight back. “Just wait. I want to see something.” She curled it a couple of times with each hand, then a couple more.
“Aren't you getting tired?”
“Uh-uh. It must be Superboy's blood. It's like I WAS getting tired, but then it went away. It feels good.”
“Oh great. You're going to be a jock too.”
“Charlotte, please! Wait! Look.” She lifted it again. “Did you see that?”
“See my muscle.”
“No. Do it again.” Jill curled the weight again. “I don't know. Maybe. Where are you going?”
“I want to try the bigger one.” She reached down and put her hands on the barbell and lifted slowly. “It's hard … but I can-”
She dropped it. “OK. Again.” She bent over and pulled it upward and got it up to her waist, then, her arms shaking, lifted it slowly higher to her chest.
“You're doing it!”
Jill nodded, then pushed the weight higher until she got it over her head and straightened her arms. “I did it.” She put it down. Claire looked at her strangely and bent over and tried to lift it, and got it just a couple of inches off the ground and dropped it. Jill shook out her arms and grabbed it again, lifted it more quickly now and held it over her head. Then she pumped it up and down a few times above her head.
“I don't believe it,” Claire said. “So much for being stronger than you.”
Jill continued to press the weight, then slid her hand to the middle of the bar and let go with the other. She continued to press it up and down more and more rapidly, then switched to the other hand and did the same.
“Wow! This is like, amazing!”
“It sure is!” Jill said, putting the barbell down. “Let's make it heavier.” She undid the locks on the bar and started adding 25 lb. Weights. “How many does he have?”
“I see eight.”
“OK. Two hundred is plenty. OK, let's see.” She pulled at the weight and slowly lifted it. Claire put her hands to her cheeks. Jill stopped at her chest and then pushed it up, holding it above her head.
“Oh god! This is so freaky! You got strong so fast!” Claire said, as Jill flexed her arm. “It even looks a little bigger.”
“It is bigger. Not a lot, but I can see it with my eyes. And it seems more solid. Try to push it in.”
Claire reached over and felt it. “Jill, I can't push it down even a little. How come-”
“I think I get it. Exercise forces your muscles to use up any stored energy and then get more from your blood. Because my blood is super, it's replacing the normal human stuff with some kind of super-nutrients. I guess because I walk a lot that's already happened a little with my legs. That's why I knocked Charlotte over in school. All I have to do is exercise my muscles and little by little they'll get super. I bet it's just a matter of time, Claire, before all my muscles will be super-powered. And that explains what happened to Superboy in your kitchen. It's the same thing in reverse. The more he uses his muscles, the more he's replacing the super-nutrients with human ones. That's why he got tired holding your fridge up.”
“So by now, if he's been using his muscles a lot, he might have lost everything!”
Jill nodded. “You're right! Just a sec. Let me see if I can find him. Let's see, Smallville should be this way.” She turned her head, then adjusted a little. OK, now his house is –
“You know where he LIVES?”
Jill smiled. “I can't tell you. He's SLEEPING! I'm looking for his parents – wait, they're talking downstairs.”
“You're listening to them from over HERE?!”
Jill nodded. “His mother is telling his father what Superboy must have told her about today. Oh, he got beaten up!” Jill looked concerned. “His father looks angry. I wonder – no, not at me, at some girl named Gudrun.” Jill looked at Claire and shrugged. “Who's Gudrun? Well, he must not have told them about me. See? He still likes me. They're saying they don't want him to go around as Superboy anymore.” She shifted her eyes a little. “I'm looking at him again. He seems ok. He's breathing fine and he doesn't have any broken bones or hemorrhages. That's good.”
“Does he have any super-powers left?”
“I can't tell from here. He looks OK, but I can tell there's been a lot of recent cell growth, so he must be recuperating. But I bet it's using up a lot of his remaining super nutrients.” She fell quiet.
“What are you seeing?” Claire asked impatiently. Jill held up a finger and looked down at her own torso, at Claire's, then back at Superboy.
“It's amazing. I can see it all happening – inside his body and mine. I really have to learn more about biology. There are some kind of substance in his liver and mine, but not in yours. When we did the transfusion, it must have stimulated his liver to circulate more and more of that substance, let's call it “super serum,” to replace the serum he was losing in the blood I was removing from his system. I must have ended up with almost all his super serum, leaving him with almost nothing in reserve. Without it, he'll be as normal here as any human. And with it, like, maybe all of MY body will become super-powered.”
“But I still don't get it. Isn't all that in his DNA, or whatever he has? Doesn't he make all that stuff naturally? And why would you be making it? You've still just got regular human organs and DNA, right?”
“Well, yeah. Jeez, Claire, I'm just guessing based on what I see. I don't know. His organs don't look a whole lot different from ours.” She thought a minute. “You know, there are some substances the body has right from the beginning and never can make again. You know, like our nerve cells, or a woman's eggs, or even the mitochondria in our cells. It could be that he can't make it from scratch. I mean, maybe it's not the blood itself. Maybe the super serum is, like, not a chemical, but some kind of living protein that he got at conception or maybe from his mother in gestation. Maybe under a yellow sun it produces the nutrients that super-charge the rest of his body and give him his powers. And maybe without that reserve supply of super serum, he can't make more of it to keep that whole system working. Maybe it's kind of like a critical mass.” Claire looked at her blankly. “You know, A-Bombs?” Claire shook her head. Jill sighed. “Well, you need a certain concentration of uranium for the reaction to work. If you don't, nothing happens. If you do, you can't stop it. So, my guess is, he's gone below the critical mass. I bet he needs, like, a certain amount of it for it to reproduce and be self-sustaining and that because he gave most of his to me, his isn't reproducing. Meanwhile the super nutrients are slowly getting consumed.” She stared in his direction, studying him. “Hey, I just realized something else!”
“You know, before, when Superboy left and I followed him to the park?” Claire nodded. “We were sitting around, talking and, um, kissing some.”
“And, well, I noticed that AFTER we kissed, he seemed stronger. You know, his muscles were firmer. And he'd stopped shivering, like the cold air wasn't bothering him anymore.”
“I wonder if kissing me did it. You know, like maybe some of those nutrients are in my saliva. And getting it from me restored some of his strength. He got mad at me right after that and then he flew off, pretty easily. And then he was flying much better than when he crash landed in the park!”
“It could have been that he was just rested.”
“Or you could be right. And maybe you could give him his powers back.”
“I don't think so. He wasn't flying THAT well. And he didn't say anything. Maybe there isn't enough of it to make a big difference, but there definitely was some difference RIGHT after we kissed!”
“I wonder if you could make ME super.”
Jill laughed and puckered her lips. “Wanna kiss?”
Both girls laughed. They inched closer and then backed away. “Naaah!” they said in unison and laughed again. They looked at each other and smiled, a little embarrassed.
“It probably wouldn't have worked anyway. I mean, I never heard anything about Lana Lang becoming super. Maybe he's just specially sensitive to it because it's been in his system.”
“Yeah, I guess so. It would have been neat though.” Claire smiled at her friend and then yawned.
“Hey, sorry I'm boring you,” Jill said, teasing her.
“No, it's really interesting. But some of us NORMAL people have to sleep. You want to keep working out?”
“Uh-uh, I've done enough for today. Now that IS boring. I can't believe that Britney Spears works out for HOURS.” They put the weights away and she and Claire headed upstairs. When they got to the kitchen Jack was there with two of his friends. Jack looked Jill over, up and down, twice and elbowed one of his friends.
“Hey Claire, Jill. What're you doing Jill, wearing contacts now? Lookin' pretty good!”
“Uh, yeah, thanks.” Jill gave a look at Claire.
“So what are you gals up to downstairs? You're not touching my stuff, are you? I thought I heard my weights.”
“We were just --” Claire started before a look from Jill shut her up.
“Dammit! You KNOW you're not supposed to mess with it. Wait here.” He got up and thundered down the stairs, then came back up. “Yeah, it looks all right. What do you think, you're going to break my back putting all the weights on the bar? You think I wouldn't notice? Dumb trick.” He waved his hand. “Go on, me and the guys were talking. Hey Jill,” he winked, “you are looking VERY good.” He winked at his friends who nodded in agreement.
Jill gave him a little smile and pulled Claire out of the room, and leaned in her ear. “Secret! Remember!” she whispered, while Claire nodded vigorously and Jill put her glasses back on.
Superboy awoke, feeling groggy. He saw the light streaming in the window. What time was it? He realized he had absolutely no idea and glanced over at the clock. Eleven thirty! He'd slept eighteen hours! He threw the covers off and jumped out of bed, and promptly collapsed onto the floor. At the sound, Martha hurried upstairs, in time to help him stand up and lie back into bed.
“I – I feel so weak!” he said.
Martha looked sadly at him. “I know dear. Thank goodness you're awake though. And you look much better too. You were delirious most of last night. You only started sleeping normally after one this morning.” She motioned to the chair near the bed. “I was right here with you.”
“Wh-what did I say?”
Martha shook her head. “I don't know. I think you were speaking Kryptonian. I heard you say Gudrun a lot and then you'd flinch. Gudrun – is she Hidlegaard Swenson's daughter?”
Superboy nodded. “I think so. She was hurting one of the students at the school. I tried to stop her, but I got beaten up myself.”
“But how is that possible, Clark? I've heard she was as strong as two grown men but … not as strong as Superboy.”
“No, of course not, Ma. She is very strong. She's got muscles like …” Superboy felt a slight stirring within him and shifted in the bed. “Ma, does she live around here? She's never in school.”
Martha sighed. “They park a trailer near the woods. Her family works in a carnival and they travel most of the time. That poor girl has never had a normal life. I don't think she's been beyond third grade – if that. The school tried to do something, but the family moves around so much that the State Board said they didn't have the authority. And because she's so strong and disruptive, they didn't really try very hard. They have enough problems with other students. But Clark, what does she have to do with this?”
“Uh, nothing. I mean, I've handled, I mean, taken care of her before. I was just … curious.” He looked down at the floor, unable to meet her eyes. “But this time was different. I – I think I was losing my powers.”
Martha started trembling. “Wh-why Clark? Was it – it wasn't the transfusion, was it? You haven't been yourself ever since that night and – oh I'd never be able to forgive myself!” She started shaking and put her hand over her heart.
“Oh no Ma! No, no. Don't you worry about that. It – it could be anything. Maybe some red kryptonite, or a new kind I don't know about yet. I'm sure they'll come back.” Martha looked up, grateful at his reassuring words. “I've got to get up, though. I've got a history test this afternoon, and then …” He leaned up on his elbow and collapsed on the bed again.”
“You're still very weak, Clark. Let me bring you some soup. I don't think you should go into school today. We'll see how you are later.” She looked at him fondly. “I've never had to take care of you as a sick child before. If this is only temporary, I may as well enjoy taking care of you.” She patted his hand.
“That's all right with you, isn't it? I don't want to embarrass you.”
He smiled at her. “No, it's fine.”
“Do you want me to wheel our TV in? Get you a magazine?”
Superboy considered. “No. I probably should study. Maybe you could get me my books from school?”
“Right after I give you some lunch!”
Jill and Claire were in the corner of the lunch room, at their usual table.
“So what's he DOING?” Claire asked.
Jill rolled her eyes and looked over her shoulder, through the wall. “He's trying to do his homework.” She shook her head. “He's not doing very well. The math class in Smallville High is way behind mine and he can't even – oh, never mind. So, like what did Joey say to you?”
“Don't you know? I thought you could hear –
“Come on, I don't listen to everything going on!” Claire looked down, feeling chastized. “Claire! It's not that it's not important to me. Why do you think I asked you? I mean, don't you want a little privacy?”
“Yeah, I guess. Sometimes I just wonder why you're still my friend. I mean, you've always been smarter than me, and now that you're –
Jill shot her a look.
“Yeah, well, you know. You're going to have more important things to do than hang around me.”
“How many times do I have to tell you! I'm NOT taking over for Superboy! I'm just me, Jill Pell. And you're my best friend and you always will be.” Jill put her arm around Claire. “Come on, stop worrying. We're going to have fun with this. Now, about Joey.”
“Oh! Well, he was really cute! I mean, he was nervous and all about asking me – can you imagine! – and he forgot to tell me where we were going, so I had to ask HIM. It's just a movie, but he'll have a car and maybe we'll go somewhere after. Jill, it's my first real date – alone with a guy!”
“And he's nice too. Well, he BETTER treat you right. If you have any trouble-”
Claire patted Jill's shoulder. “Yeah, my big protector,” she laughed. “Are you going to the game after school?”
“Wouldn't miss this one for the world! And I'm going to be so good in class today that not even Miss Thompkins'll be able to find a reason to keep me after school.”
Superboy was dozing in the den, his books open on top of his chest. There was a soft knock at the door and it creaked open slightly. “Excuse me. Clark? May I come in?” Superboy opened his eyes suddenly and pushed the books toward the sofa cushions.
He looked at the figure in the door. She was a slight girl, particularly on top, although her hips were a bit broad. She had a round face with shoulder-length brown hair and wide, brown eyes with a kind expression.
“Jessica?” he said, confused.
She walked in hesitantly and looked at him strangely. “H-how did you know? Have we met?” Superboy was silent. “Uh, I hope I'm not disturbing you. If you were sleeping, maybe I'd better go.”
“Oh no! Please come in,” he finally said. He tried to get up, but then fell back on the sofa.
“Oh, you don't have to stand up for me.” She laughed, awkwardly. “I heard you were sick and I told your Mom I'd stop by to see if you were OK. I'll go now and tell her you were resting.”
“Oh you don't have to go! I was only – I mean, of course, if you have things to do. I was just…”
She smiled and put her purse down. “Well, I can stay a little. I know how dull it is when you're feeling sick. May I sit down?”
He nodded and she sat on a worn chair opposite the sofa.. “I've seen a picture of your mother. You look a lot like her,” he explained. “Ma, uh, said you'd been sick, but you look … well now, Jessica.”
She nodded. “Oh yes, I'm SO much better! I haven't felt this good since – gee, I don't know when – thanks to Superboy. I know I'm not supposed to say anything about what he did, but Mrs. Kent said I could talk to you. You know he saved my life. You must thank him for me, won't you? I wanted to see him myself, but Mrs. Kent said she thought he went away on some urgent business and she didn't know when he'd be back. I guess it's a bit presumptuous for me to think I could talk to him personally. But she said you could get a message to him.”
“Yes, of course I will. I'm sure he would have been glad to meet you himself. I'll ask him when I see him.”
“That's so kind of you. I'm glad he has friends. I would think it's very lonely and hard being Superboy.”
“Yes,” Clark said absently, then realizing what he'd said, he went on, “he says it is. Would you like some cake? I can smell something fresh.”
“Come on. Ma would be very happy if you had some.” He rose slowly and took a few steps, then started to fall.
Jessica rose quickly from her chair darted over to him, catching him. She helped him straighten up and put her arm around his back to support him. “Are you sure you're all right? Maybe I should bring it to you?”
Superboy was amazed that this girl, who days ago was frail and near death, was actually supporting most of his weight. It must his blood! She probably had more of it now than he did! “It's hard to believe you were sick,” he joked.
They walked slowly to the kitchen, Superboy's arm around her shoulder while she let his body rest on hers. As ill as he felt, he found it strangely exciting that she was practically carrying him and hoped that she wasn't noticing it each time her hip banged against his erection.
“Oh I know!” she answered quickly, and kept walking, not wanting to embarrass Clark, and not quite believing that sick as he was, he was getting aroused by her. Imagine! By ME, Jessica Carson! Of course, it was a little unnerving. She chattered on, pretending to ignore it. “I'm just full of energy! Mom wanted me to stay home and rest, but I couldn't! So after school today I did some work at the orphanage, reading to the kids and helping them with schoolwork. I'm going to go there three times a week. And the other days I'll help out at the hospital. Superboy told me that the best way to repay his good deed was to help others – and I'm determined to do just that. I wish I could do something for him too, but I suppose he doesn't need my help. So, I'll do what he suggested instead.” She helped him sit down, trying hard not to look at his pants. “No, you sit there. Let me get it. The cake looks wonderful. Are you having milk?” She buzzed around the kitchen, taking down two plates, two glasses and then sitting next to Clark to slice a large piece for him and a small one for herself. He bit into it hungrily and drank down half the glass.
“I don't think I ate today. I must have slept through lunch.”
“Really? I used to do that too when I was sick. That must be why you're feeling so weak. You really have to remember to eat.” She took a bite. “Mmmm, it's delicious. Your mother must be a great cook. You know, it is funny we haven't met before, because I feel like I've seen you. But it's been so long since I really visited anyone. Maybe when we were younger. I mean, our mothers are the best of friends. But you weren't at the funeral.”
“No. I do remember Ma going. I'm sorry about your father.”
“We both miss him so much. It's been very hard on Mother to keep the farm going. But now I can help her, instead of her having to take care of me too.” Superboy nodded. She really was a very sweet girl. How ironic that Jill had gotten so much of his blood and Jessica just a little. Jessica would have made a fine Supergirl.
“I'm really glad you're feeling so much better. I wish we could have met before.”
Jessica smiled. “Me too,” she replied, thinking how wonderful life could be, now that she was healthy again. Why, someday she might even have a boyfriend.
“But we could surely start now,” she said, a little timidly, thinking that she should come back – visiting Superboy's friend while he was sick would surely be the right thing to do.
Superboy nodded, then put his hand to his forehead and shook his head. “Oh-oh, I think I'd better lie down again.”
She jumped up. “Oh, I've tired you out!” She put her hand under his arm and practically lifted him out of his chair. “Come on, I'll walk you back and then you can rest. At least you had something to eat!”
“Yes, thanks to you. It was good to meet you Jessica,” Clark said faintly as he sat down and slumped into his sofa. “Yes, a good Supergirl,” he mumbled, falling asleep.
Jessica looked at him strangely, then covered him with a blanket and went back to the kitchen to wash the dishes and leave a thank-you note for Mrs. Kent. She checked on him again before she left and on an impulse bent over to kiss him on the lips. He sighed and his breathing grew quieter and more regular.
Poor boy. She thought of his position and compared it to her own when she was sick. It must be even worse to be a boy and to be so sickly and weak, she concluded. He really does need a friend. She stroked his head gently and quietly left the house.
“This is going to be fun!” Jill said, rubbing her hands.
Claire sat next to her, although she kept an eye on Joey as he turned every so often to look at her. Then Claire had to look away so he didn't see her looking.
“Just ignore him. Don't be so eager.”
“I can't help it. I'm so excited.”
Jill patted her hand. She watched the cheerleaders bounced around in front of the players. “I've been doing breathing exercises all day. I think I'm ready. OK. Watch this.” Charlotte was about to jump. Jill pursed her lips and blew. A gust of wind blew Charlotte into Margie Taylor, knocking the two girls to the ground and spoiling the cheer. “It worked!” she said clapping. Charlotte got up slowly, and Margie was still on the ground, rubbing her behind. She looked very cross.
The game started. Chester took the kickoff and ran the return to their 30 yard line. Bill ran two running plays, netting only four years, then dropped back to throw a short slant toward the sidelines. Arnie caught the ball and had daylight to the first down. Jill saw her chance and blew again. A gust of wind suddenly pushed Charlotte onto the field right into Arnie's path. They collided, jarring the ball loose and into Springfield's hands. The coach was apoplectic.
“Get those cheerleaders out of here! Off the field dammit. Send them back to the gym where they belong!” he screamed. Arnie stood up gingerly and limped back to the bench. “Oh great! My best running back gets injured after he's tackled by a cheerleader! What next?!”
Charlotte had gotten up and was walking around in tears, her uniform as dirty as anyone on the team. She ran over to Bill to apologize but he turned on her coldly. “You heard the coach. Get out of here!” Angry that they had been banished from the game, none of the cheerleaders would talk to Charlotte either, and she stood halfway to the gym, crying by herself.
Jill couldn't believe it. “That was so easy. And I had so many other ideas. I'll have to save 'em for next time.”
The girls watched as the team regrouped, then Joey tapped Claire on the shoulder. “Hey Claire, now that was a play you don't see on TV, huh? Do you girls want to sit with us?” He pointed to two empty seats.
Claire looked at Jill. “Go ahead. I just realized I had more homework than I thought. I'll call you later.” She watched as Claire took Joey's hand and walked away with him and felt a small pang. She wondered what Superboy was doing and looked over in his direction. To her shock he was with that girl they'd saved, Jessica, and she couldn't believe the way he was leaning on her – why, he was all over her! She looked away. Obviously he was just like any other teenage boy – interested in whatever girl was nearby! Hmmmph! Well, so much for feeling a little guilty. She had been absolutely right to take his powers away! She turned smartly toward the gym. There was something that interested her more than the game – or Superboy!. Charlotte was still sniveling when Jill reached her. Jill laughed, loudly enough for Charlotte to hear. Charlotte whirled around.
“What do YOU want?”
“Just watching you. Great game, so far!”
“You WOULD think so. But I'm still head cheerleader and you're still a NOBODY, Jilly Milly. And I'll NEVER let you FORGET it.” Jill removed her glasses and put them in her pocket. “What's this supposed to be? You want to fight me? Sure, Jilly, anytime. It takes real strength to be a cheerleader, you know, and I've been doing gymnastics since I was five. I'm in just the mood to punch out a little creep like you.” She chuckled. “Doesn't seem fair almost, since you're so blind without them – but remember, you started it.”
Jill nodded, looking Charlotte in the eye. She didn't want to fight Charlotte. She'd had enough of detention this year and, more importantly, a better plan. Laser surgery to improve sight was a very precise procedure. But in this case, precision was less important, as long as she didn't go too far. She shot a quick beam into Charlotte's eyes.
“Hey, what?” Charlotte stared ahead, confused.
Jill put her glasses back on. “What's the matter, Charlotte?” she said, not sympathetically.
“Nothing I … I just …” She shook her head and blinked her eyes several times. “Funny, everything just got blurry.”
“Really? Maybe you need glasses too.”
“What? No! I've always had perfect sight.”
“You're so lucky. But why don't you try my glasses? See if they make a difference.” She handed them to Charlotte, who felt around in the air for Jill's hand before she found them.
She put them on. “Yeah!” she said, mystified. “That's almost back to normal – but how –
Jill shrugged and put her hand out. “I need them back.” Charlotte hesitated, and Jill grabbed them off her face. “They're mine! Remember?”
Charlotte staggered around. “But now I – I can hardly see. How will I get back home? I'll never be able to drive my car! And my homework? I've got tons to read tonight.”
“Better get yourself some glasses, sweetie. Oh, nice SEEING you. Tah-tah!”
Charlotte staggered off. Jill waited until she was about ten feet away, then used her vision to see inside Charlotte's body. She beamed seven microscopic lasers into her body, neatly severing a few tendons in her arms and legs and cauterizing a few blood vessels feeding her pectoral muscles. Charlotte almost tripped, the brief piercing pains in her joints and back startling her, then she started walking again, but much more clumsily. Jill looked into her to check her work and nodded in satisfaction. Without proper treatment, those tendons would just wither away, robbing Charlotte of some of her muscular control and stability. So much for her gymnast's coordination. And it wouldn't take too long for her chest muscles to weaken and for her breasts to start drooping like an eighty year old's. Jill couldn't wait to see how Charlotte would look when her perky round breasts started to sag and then hung halfway to her navel! This was so much better than a fight!
She walked ahead of Charlotte to the gym, which wasn't difficult since she was headed in the wrong direction. Margie Taylor and Sue Roberts were angrily complaining.
“This would have been the best game of the year!”
“I know. Charlie ruined it for everyone!”
“She's always telling us what to do. Then she gets in the way of the game.”
“We told her before she was doing her jumps too close to the game.”
“Yeah, but she always needs to be in front!”
Jill stood outside in the dark. She again focused her heat vision in a narrow band and fired off thousands of quick beams in a few seconds, vaporizing more than half the oil glands in Marge's and Sue's faces and necks and breaking down the cellular structure of the skin. After their showers, their skin would be as wrinkled as their grandmothers'!
The girls flailed at their faces, trying to shoo away the bites of a thousand tiny gnats. “What IS this, all of a sudden!” Margie squealed.
“We! They're everywhere!” Sue said. Then the assault stopped, as quickly as it had begun. The girls looked at each other. “That was so WEIRD!” Sue said.
“At least they're gone.” Margie felt her face. “But I think I really got bitten badly. I hope it doesn't show tomorrow. It's the weekend!”
“I know!” Sue agreed. “I wonder what's happening at the game.”
Margie grabbed her. “Come on. Let's shower before Charlie comes back and get out of here. I don't want to see her, do you?” Sue shook her head and followed her in to the locker room.
“Clark, I really do think you should see a doctor,” Martha insisted.
“No! Absolutely not! They won't be able to help me.”
Jonathan put his hand on Superboy's shoulder. “But son, it's been almost two days now since you've gone out. You're barely able to walk. There may be something they can do.”
Superboy shook his head vigorously. “I'm Kryptonian, not human. A doctor might notice some difference and want to take tests. And that would only lead to more questions, more chances that he would discover my secret identity.”
“What about Dr. Pell?” Martha said, quietly. “He knows about the transfusion already.” Superboy looked at her questioningly. “He could see you as Superboy, not as Clark Kent. I'm sure he would want to help. Isn't his reputation at stake too?”
“Ma's right son. I hate to say it, but his own vanity would make him want to help you and keep matters quiet.”
He was Jill's father! What if he already knew?! Superboy struggled to think of another argument against going. “But he won't know anything about my physiology.”
Martha put her hand on his shoulder. “Then you would just have to instruct him. You could work as a team. Honestly! You sound just like Pa when I tell him to go for his annual check-up. What is it with you men and doctors! It seems obvious to me. Jonathan?” Jonathan cleared his throat and looked at Superboy, who looked back at him. Satisfied that she had won her point, Martha went to get the phone.
Superboy stamped his foot. “I'm not going!” he exclaimed. “I don't need his help!” His parents looked at him in surprise.
“Clark, you've never disobeyed us before,” Martha said quietly. He looked at her, his jaw set. “You aren't an adult yet, Clark. I'm afraid this is one of those times when I must insist, as your mother, that you do as I say.”
“But … I'm Superboy. I …”
“Of course you're Superboy, but right now you are NOT super. Right now, you are my ill son who needs looking after,” she said firmly, putting her hands on her hips. “Now, either you make an appointment or I will. And if I do, it will be much harder to explain.” She handed Superboy the phone and the number. He looked at his father but got no support from him. His resistance crumbled and he dialed.
Jill sat in her room, quickly doing her homework. She was sitting in her chair, wearing just her bra and blue jeans. Her father was still away and her mother was out shopping. The studying came quickly now – she barely had to look at a page to memorize it, and she'd already learned the entire year's math and science work. But writing out reports and math problems still took a little while. She couldn't type more than 160 words per minute without the computer getting the letters confused. She resolved to study electronics soon and see if she could improve the design. Listening to Bach while she worked helped prevent her getting too bored – her other music seemed too simple – but now hearing her brother's heavy metal in the background was annoying her. It was so predictable and so badly played. Finally, when he repeated the same song for the sixth time, she decided she'd had enough. She saved her file, put a shirt on without buttoning it and went to Allen's room.
“I'm getting really TIRED of that song. Will you turn it DOWN,” she shouted trying to be heard above the din.
“What? Did you say you wanted it LOUDER?” he grinned, turning the volume up.
Jill tried to control herself. Allen had no idea who he was dealing with. And he was her brother, not a creepy cheerleader. Still, it was hard to resist. It would be so easy to close a few blood vessels and make him weak and clumsy, like she'd done with Charlotte. Still she didn't want to do something she'd regret later. Well, there was one obvious thing she could do. She aimed a beam of heat vision at his CD player and vaporized an integrated circuit. The sound shut off immediately, although the CD continued to spin.
“Shit! I just bought it.” He looked at it and fiddled with the volume. “Damn!”
“Sounds much better to me now,” Jill sang.
He glared at her. “It's not funny. I spent my own money on that.”
Jill shrugged. “Big deal. It was just your allowance. You didn't actually work for it.”
He got up and walked toward her, listening to the music from her room. “What's that you're playing? Are you playing CLASSICAL? Jeez, Jilly, you're even more out of it than I thought. You're sixteen and you listen to that? No wonder you've never had a boyfriend.”
“Fuck off, nitwit,” she said, turning her back on him.
“Fuck off, nitwit,” he parodied, in a falsetto. He grabbed her jeans by the belt loop and pulled her to make her turn around.
Jill turned and glared at him. “Don't touch me.”
“Don't touch me,” he replied in his high voice. He peeked inside her shirt and looked at her chest. “Nice tits sis! You really are developing nicely.”
“Allen!” Jill slapped his face, then instantly regretted it. Allen's face had snapped back. She hoped she hadn't hit him too hard. She stepped back and looked at him anxiously while she buttoned up her shirt. He seemed OK she saw, to her relief.
Allen felt his face. “Whoa! Getting a little touchy Jilly? You think you're safe or something because I'm not gonna hit girls?” he threatened, advancing on her.
Jill held up her hands. “Don't, Allen! Dad said!”
“Yeah, no hitting your sister,” he said, then pointed at her with his forefingers. “But tickling doesn't leave marks on your sensitive skin.” He reached out and grabbed at her waist and started to tickle.
Jill tried to resist pushing him – she didn't know exactly how strong she was – and tensed herself for the inevitable onslaught of laughter that always immobilized her and rendered her completely helpless. But it didn't come. She relaxed. Somehow she was able to resist the spasms completely. She looked up at him calmly and affected to be bored, then dug her nails into his wrists.
“Oww! Shit!” he said, pulling his hands back and looking cross.
“I guess I'm not ticklish any more, Allie. But I STILL don't want you to touch me. EVER!”
He stared at her, unsure how to get back at her, and then looked down at the red marks on his wrists. “You just watch it, Jilly Milly.”
She tossed her head and turned around, ignoring him, and walked back to her room. Now THAT was satisfying. She turned her music on more loudly, but then an even louder blast of music came from Allen's room. It was his radio, and while it was not heavy metal, it was still ruining the sound of her music.
She stormed back into his room. “Turn that OFF before I break it!” she shouted.
He just grinned and turned around, blocking her access to the tuner. Fine. If that's the way he wanted to play. “You're going to burn out your speakers!” she shouted. He turned and stuck his tongue out at her. Hah! She'd show him! She sent a ray of heat vision at each speaker, melting the wires and the sound cones. The sound cut off abruptly.
“Hey! What the fuck!”
Her Bach was playing sweetly in the background. “I TOLD you. Maybe it's time you LISTENED to your BIG sister,” she teased, and left.
“Ow!” she heard him say as she started typing away again, finishing her ten page paper. She spied on him through the wall. Why, he'd burned his finger on the speakers! He definitely still had a lot to learn.
Superboy held his hand over the mouthpiece. “There's no answer. He must be – oh, hello. Yes. I need to … I want to make an appointment to see Dr. Pell. No I'm not an existing patient. No it has to be him, not an associate. Yes, but …”
He looked at his mother, who mouthed “Tell her you're Superboy!”
“Uh, yes, this is Superboy you see. Oh. Of course I'm sure. Uh, Monday. I'll be there at 3. Yes ma'am. You're welcome. I will. Bless you too. Goodbye.”
Jill and Claire were in their usual lunchroom spot. Claire had her hand on Jill's arm. “I can't believe Sue and Margie STILL haven't come back to school.”
Jill smiled. “They both went to some skin center in Kansas City.” She laughed. “Their faces are even more leathery than I thought. You should have SEEN them slathering moisturizing cream all over their skin. Nothing helped. They were absolutely hysterical!”
“So are you going to go out for the squad?”
“No way! I've got better things to do, you know.”
Charlotte shuffled by slowly, stopping short every few seconds to make sure she didn't bump into anything, then tripping on a chair leg and spilling her iced tea onto her tray. Jill noticed that her breasts were already sagging. Soon they'd be halfway down her torso. “Hey Charlotte, your eyes any better?” she called.
“Shut up Jilly-Milly,” Charlotte called out, turning to try to locate the source of the voice.
Jill laughed. “This is so great!” she said quietly, when Charlotte sat down, alone.
“I'm so excited about my date tonight!”
Jill patted Claire's hand. “I'm excited for you too. I'll be watching, just to make sure nothing goes wrong.”
“You don't have to do that!” Claire said.
“I won't if you tell me not to. But what if he does something you don't want him to? You don't know what he'll do. It's your first date.”
“Jill, I've know him since I was three and he was four! I think I can take care of myself.” Claire sighed. “Well, you can look in once in a while. But I'm going to try to handle things myself. We're just going to the movies. It'll be all right.” She looked at Jill a little guiltily. “What about you? I mean, we usually spend Friday nights together.”
“I know. I might go to Smallville or something. See Superboy.”
“But you had a fight with him last time. Are you going to make up? What if he asks you again to give up being super?”
“I'll tell him not yet. But there are a few things I want from him too. Maybe we can work something out.”
“Oh God Jill. What do you mean? Are you really going to give him his powers back and give up being – you know!”
“Are you kidding? But I DO need a little help from him.”
“I'm going to be thinking about you all night!”
“Don't. I'll come by later, or you can call me. I promise I'll tell you everything, but only if you do too.”
“Of course I will!” The bell rang and the girls dumped their trays. “OOOOH Jill! This is so exciting!”