Linda asked Jon, “Daddy can I please go to the orphanage for a week before you pick me up? I want to see how they treat kids there when they don’t know who I am. And I can hang out with kids my own age for a while. Can I please?”
Jon agreed and soon he was dropping her at the door to the mansion that was formerly Lex Luthor’s home. She was greeted at the door by the orphanage’s new director, Lana Lang Ross. Lana showed Linda to her room. It had been Lex’s room when he lived there. It still had the huge bed he used to sleep in. She went over and ran her hand along the silk sheets and took a quick bounce on the mattress. She asked Mrs. Ross, “Who do I share this room with?”
Mrs. Ross laughed and said, “All our girls have private rooms with their own entertainment centers. But you can watch TV with the other girls in the game room if you wish or see a movie at the mansion’s movie theater. And, feel free to jump on the bed. We’re all about having fun here. You know, I’m an orphan too, but I never had a place this nice to go to and I had to share a room with Chloe Sullivan.”
Linda said, “Oh! Chloe is nice! That must have been fun!”
Mrs. Ross said, “It’s much more fun having your own space. Just leave your bags here. It’s lunch time. You won’t want to miss meals today. It’s “Goodies Day.” All we serve is cake, ice cream, cookies and candy. Tomorrow is pizza day.”
Linda asked, “Is that healthy?”
Mrs. Ross said, “Our nutritionist has secret recipes to make the best foods that are healthier than you could possibly imagine. Get into a swim suit and let’s go! We don’t want to miss the food fight. We shower you off afterwards and then you get to spend a couple hours in the pool with the other kids.”
Linda changed quickly in her private bathroom with the gold fixings on the sink, Jacuzzi and toilet. Then she met all the girls as she stuffed herself with cake and cookies that were just like the stuff her mother made. The girls all told her how beautiful she was and the boys asked if she would dance with them at the dance next week. She saw one boy that looked just like Lee Chan smiling at her, but he never came up to talk to her and she couldn’t seem to ever be alone with him. She got everybody’s names so she could have them over to play when she went back home the next week.
Linda was playing foosball with a boy that looked kind of like Clark when Mrs. Ross came to get her. Mrs. Ross said, “Linda Lee, there are some nice people here that would very much like to meet her.”
The boy playing with Linda said, “Shucks, adopted so soon? Why do all the prettiest ones go first?”
Linda said, “Don’t worry, I’m going to live real close and maybe you can come and visit me at my house.”
Mrs. Ross said, “Oh, no, my dear. If the Danvers adopts you, they will probably take you back with them to their castle in western Europe where there aren’t any kids for you to play with.”
Linda looked at Mrs. Ross kind of strangely. She thought, “Mrs. Ross must know that I am being adopted by Jon and Martha Kent and will live on a farm less than 2 miles away. She must just be kidding around.”
Mrs. Ross took Linda to a wash room and pulled some makeup out of her purse. She put some rouge on Linda’s cheeks and then applied some bright red lipstick. Linda said, “That stuff won’t stick on me.”
Mrs. Ross said, “It won’t have to stay on for long. First impressions are very important.” Then Mrs. Ross hurried her into a small room where the Danvers were waiting to meet her. She said, “Mr. and Mrs. Danvers, this is Linda Lee. I won’t bother telling her your names because she’ll just be calling you Mom and Dad.”
Mrs. Danvers said, “Actually, we would prefer her to call us Ma’am and Sir.”
Mrs. Ross said, “You heard what they said Linda. I’ll be back for you in a while. Have a nice visit.”
Linda said, “Excuse me but you look awfully familiar. Ma’am, do you usually wear glasses? And, Sir, do you always wear a beard.”
Mrs. Danvers said, “Child, you’d better learn from the start that we ask the questions. We do the talking. Children are to be seen cleaning the house and not heard. Do you understand?”
Linda said, “Yes Ma’am.”
Linda watched uncomfortably as Mr. Danvers leered at her. Mrs. Danvers continued to speak, “I don’t want to spoil my figure by having children and his son needs someone to play around with so that he stops bothering me. We will expect you to do the house work to offset the cost of feeding you.”
Linda said, “Excuse me, Ma’am. I think there’s been a mistake. There is an adoption in process for me right now and there is no way they won’t be able to adopt me. We get along great and they are very rich so there is no question that they can’t afford to raise me.”
Mrs. Danvers snarled, “It is you that are mistaken. They practically promised you to us. The last 3 we got were particularly feeble and didn’t last more than a couple months. We were going to sue this place for the burial fees, but Mrs. Ross settled with us by letting us have you. And you’d better be worth it too. If you don’t last a year, I’ll be really angry! To continue, in our house, we believe in tough love. If you want love – tough! We don’t allow children to watch TV.”
Linda said, “Not even Angel?”
Mrs. Danvers said, “Especially not Angel. That show is demonic!”
Linda said, “It is not!”
Mrs. Danver’s eyes widened and she said, “Talk back like that when we get you home and we’ll wash your mouth out wish soap then have you gargle with vinegar. To continue, children are to be in bed by 6:00pm unless we have guests in which case you are expected to wait on them hand and foot! You will share a room with your new brother. He has the same initials so we won’t have to get new monogrammed towels. You can share. He’s older – about 36, so he will get first use of the towels. You are small enough so that you two should easily in the same bed. It’s a twin size. Once you are in bed, you are locked in until 10:00 am the following morning at which time you begin your cleaning duties. At 2:00 you get your meal for the day. Sweets are bad for children so you will only eat liver and onions. Water is the only beverage fit for a child. You will never leave the house unaccompanied by an adult. We will provide you with sweat pants and a t-shirt to wear once a week. Your good clothes will only be worn when we are entertaining or when we take you out of the house. You will never be allowed to contact anyone you know now. Never. Not even if you grow up. If you prove to be unruly, it would be too costly to bring you back here so we will sell you into slavery to try to re-coop out expenses. We have a handbook with the rest of the rules, which you will be expected to memorize. You do read, don’t you?”
Linda said, “Yes Ma’am.”
Mrs. Ross came into the room and said, “I have to borrow Linda for a while. The Kents are here for a meeting. I’ll be back to see you shortly.” She ushered Linda out of the room and to a room nearby.
Linda said, “Mrs. Ross, Mrs. Ross! I am SO glad they’ll never get their hands on me! They are awful people. Don’t let them adopt anyone EVER! Call Petey, they should be arrested!”
Mrs. Ross looked at her sternly and said, “My Dear, this is my organization and I know what’s in your best interests. Haven’t I taken good care of you? Well, I will continue to do what is in your best interest even if your tiny little mind can’t comprehend what is best for you. The Kents are waiting. In you go.”
Linda ran in and gave Jon and Martha a big hug. Jon said, “Anna! Are you having fun?”
Linda said, Yes, Daddy but I’m ready to go home now.”
Mrs. Ross said, “Sit down by the door, young lady. There are formalities to go through before you go anywhere. Mr. and Mrs. Kent, We are good friends but I can not let that influence my decision and I must in fact bend over backwards to avoid showing any favoritism in this case whatsoever. And I am a skilled gymnast so I bend over backward quite easily. Just ask Pete. Here is the basis for my decision:
1. Your desire to adopt at this time is a reaction to the recent loss of your daughter Ryanna. Jon, calling Linda “Anna” shows how serious this issue is.
2. With 3 babies on the way, Linda won't get the attention she needs or deserves.
3. It may be perceived that you want Linda as a servant to care for the babies.
4. You are beyond the normal age we consider -- even thought you both are looking very good for your ages.
5. Another eligible couple who can't have their own children wants Linda. You t two should empathize with that one.
6. Money isn't everything. My real Dad used to own all of Smallville and did that make me happy? No.
7. The fact that Jon owns the company that endows the orphanage may cause authorities to question whether the Kent's bought Linda through their contributions and influence with the orphanage. That is something this organization can not risk. We can not be shut down and therefore kept from helping many families because we allowed one bad placement to happen.
8. As the love of your son’s life, allowing you to adopt Linda would make me look unprofessional.
Therefore, the adoption request is denied.”
Linda shouts, “NO! Mrs. Ross, no! Mommy, Daddy, do something!”
Jon said, “Lana, I am shocked! You aren’t the girl that Clark used to love at all! You have grown up into a woman that is … is … so amazingly brilliant that I hardly recognize you. Every point you made was absolutely valid! We shouldn’t have even considered asking to adopt her.”
Linda shouted, “Daddy, No! Mommy!”
Martha said, “Lana is right dear. You don’t belong with us. You say someone else wants her? By all means, let them have her.”
The Danvers came into the room as Linda shouted, “NO! I won’t go with them. I won’t. I won’t. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!” Each of the Danvers grabbed one of Linda’s wrists and she couldn’t pull away. Ryanna said, “I’ll fly away. I will! I’ll go live on the moon if I have to!”
Mrs. Ross said, “Oh my. Mr. and Mrs. Danvers! I didn’t know she was delusional. You don’t have to take her unless you want to.”
Mr. Danvers says, “This is wonderful, my Son Lex is delusional too! They will be locked up together most of the time. It’s like a marriage made in Heaven – or somewhere below that.”
Mrs. Ross said, “Perfect! Then it’s settled! Adoption granted. Linda Lee is all yours. Congratulations!”
Linda shouts, “Let me go! Who are you two? You’re too strong to be human!” Mrs. Danvers takes off her glasses. “Mommy! It’s Alexis. She isn’t dead and she has her powers back!” Mr. Danvers pulls off his beard. “Daddy, it’s Clark. Clark why are you doing this?”
Mr. Danvers says, “Look again, little girl. You should recognize me from the pictures under your mattress!”
Ryanna screamed, “It’s Lionel! It’s Lionel Luthor!”
Martha asked, “What pictures?”
Mr. Danvers answered, “Didn’t you know? I thought you two didn’t keep secrets. She has naked pictures of me under her mattress.”
Martha says, “Oh! What a naughty girl! I should have known what kind of girl you are from that make-up you’re wearing! You were never any good. And after you killed that boy Sam, I don’t want you anywhere near my babies!”
Linda struggled against the Danvers and screamed but it did no good. She shouted, “No, Mommy! NO! I’ll burn the pictures. I’m sorry. DADDY, PLEEEEEEASE!”
Jon said, “I have 3 babies coming, what do I need her for? She eats me out of house and home. Good riddance. One less mouth to feed. Here. This is hers. Take it with you.” Jon tossed Mrs. Danvers Linda’s teddy bear.
The Danvers dragged Linda from the orphanage as a crowd of kids laughed at her tears. They took her to a van and flipped the switch on a Kryptonian generator and a red light came on. They put Linda’s arms and legs in manacles. Then Mrs. Danvers torn Fforde’s head off, threw him into the back of the van with her and slammed the door.
Linda screamed and wailed as loud as she could but the pain kept coming up from inside her. She couldn’t stand it a minute longer, not a single minute. Then someone was touching her head. Stroking her head. Who was in there with her? Who or what was in the back of the van with her. Was it Lex? Was he going to slap her like last time she saw him. Her eyes snapped open.
Jon said, “HONEY! Honey, wake up! You’re having a nightmare.”
Linda yelled, “Don’t let them take me away! Don’t send me to the orphanage!”
Jon said, “We would never send you away.”
Linda said, “Clark’s old girlfriend Lana, you know? The woman that runs the orphanage. She will give me to the Danvers if you send me to the orphanage. Don’t listen to her. Please, don’t listen to her.”
Jon said, “Lana Lang? Honey, she doesn’t work at the orphanage. She owns the Talon Coffee House chain.”
Linda said, “Alexis and Lionel Luthor are going to take me and lock me in a room with Lex and he’s going to slap me again! And I’ll have to share his dirty towels with him and I can’t watch Angel on TV anymore and no more cookies. I’ll run away. If you don’t adopt me, I’ll run away.”
Jon said, “We already adopted you. The papers came by courier while you were napping here. You are our daughter in every way. I’ll have the documents framed so you can have them in your room.”
Linda asked, "Do you think Mommy could sew Fforde's head back on for me?"
Jon retrieved Fforde from the side of the bed and said, "Fforde is just fine, Honey."
Linda grabbed hold of Fforde the way a starving man would go for a steak. Then she looked at her Dad. Her face was contorted in grief and sadness. She said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I eat so much. I’m sorry about the pictures. I’ll be good. I promise. I’ll do anything you want me to. Just don’t send me away!”
Jon said, “Honey, you are a very good girl. I’ll only ask you one favor.”
Linda said, “Anything! ANYTHING!”
Jon said, “If you think you are going to take a nap later, don’t watch the “Pinocchio” videotape first. OK?” Linda quickly felt her head and bottom to make sure that she wasn’t growing donkey ears or a tail then nodded her head in agreement. Jon continued, “OK, then just rest your head on my shoulder for a while and be quiet then we’ll both go have some cookies and milk.”
Linda looked at her father and said, “Pinocchio was scary … but not as scary as ….” Linda couldn’t finish the sentence because her mind raced back over her nightmare and she got upset all over again. Her face became contorted again and she began to cry softly as her face landed on Jon’s shoulder.
Jon wrapped his arms around Linda and held her as she cried. He felt guilty because his daughter felt so bad when he felt so good. He couldn’t help but feel almost giddy because, as powerful as she was, his little girl still needed him.