|What: The morning after her arrival, Superman takes his cousin shopping for a few essentials. They also talk a bit about her future on Earth|
The latest guest in the Kent household took her time getting up this morning. But considering everything she's been through, Martha insisted that Kara be allowed to wake up on her own. And when Kara did wake up, it was to find the pillow and sheets on her bed torn up from the tossing and turning she did. Amidst the fluff, Krypto looks up at Kara from the foot of the bed with a 'I'm innocent' look. Then, Kara accidentally broke the cold water tap in the bathroom, spraying water everywhere and turning Kara into resembling a drowned rat by the time Kal rescued her. Breakfast was a little better, with the eggs and biscuits agreeing with her palate. Now, Kal's driving her into Smallville for some clothes and other essentials. Martha had the foresight to go into town first thing in the morning and pick up a shirt, pants and shoes for Kara, but there's other things she;s going to need.
As Kal steers the truck onto Main Street, Kara breaks her silence by looking at him in embarrassment. ||I'm sorry I keep breaking things in Jonathan and Martha's house||.
Clark looks to Kara and shakes his head, ||It's okay, Kara. They understand. Besides, nothing you broke is irreplaceable. I can pick up some faucet handles and a new set of pillows and sheets from the store while you look for items. We're going to need clothing, of course. And care products. And whatever else we think is necessary.||
Kara nods and smiles a bit. ||They are good people. I know our parents would have liked them and approved of them raising you as their own.|| As Kal parks the truck in front of the store, Kara gently and deliberately opens the truck door, managing not to damage the hinge. She looks down at her hands, frowning. ||How much stronger will I get? Will I always have to handle everything so gently?||
||As you get older and more accustomed, you'll develop a touch, where you won't even have to think about it. As far as how strong you'll get, I'm not really sure. I haven't been able to quantify my own strength.|| Clark seems to handle the door with ease and moves towards the large, catch-all department store. ||The clothing here is not what you'd call fashionable, but when you come to visit me in Metropolis, I'll be able to take you to get something a bit more fashionable.|| He looks up at the sign, ||Going to have to use Kryptonian sparingly in here. Chances are, I'll know quite a few people. ||
Kara nods, looking again at her cousin dressed in the simple human clothes and wearing the optical lenses. She still hasn't asked what they're for, but considering Jonathan and Martha also wear them, perhaps it's a kind of status or rank symbol? ||I will be quiet||, she replies. ||And let you introduce and explain me as you see fit.||
Kara follows her cousin into the store and is immediately shocked by the scene before her; it's like some old-time market like out of a history text. As Kal leads her along, Kara reaches out to touch odd items, gazing in wonder.
"Hello, Clark! Time off from the paper?" Old Man Hangretty waves down the Kent boy. "Who's that with you?"
"Oh! This is my cousin, Kara. Good to see you, Mr. Hangretty. She just got in last night. She's from a different country, so her English is still coming a long." Clark shakes the man's hand, who then gives Kara a little wave.
Kara smiles and waves shyly to the man. She idly wonders if he would be so friendly if he knew that she and Kal were not really humans after all. But the better part of her chimes in with the hope that most humans will be like Jonathan and Martha.
Kara's eyes notice something and she goes over to the jewelry case to investigate. Ornamentation; this she's slightly familiar with. Not too different than what was seen on Krypton. She looks up as a lady approaches her with a bottle in hand and sprays a light mist at her. The scent of the mist is unfamiliar and Kara scrunches up her nose.
"Perfume," Clark says to Kara as she begins to lead the young lady away from the scent. Perhaps it might be overpowering for her. "You want?" Clark looks to the lady and smiles; it's clear that his cousin is foreign.
Kara is shaking her head, trying to clear the scent out. ||These humans are very strange,|| she says quietly. ||They cover up their scent with this...perfume? Am I going to need some to pass as human?|| She sniffs a little bit and gives Kal a puzzled look. ||And why aren't you wearing anything like that? Your smell is different||.
"Cologne is a lot different for men, than perfume is for women." Clark responds in English, reaching for a bottle that looks young and trendy. He softly tosses it into the cart and then continues on, smiling as they leave the attendant. ||Everyone wears it. Just a custom. Some are really pleasant,|| he murmurs.
Kara nods, still not comprehending completely. As Kal leads her into the women's clothing section, Kara looks around. The bright colors of spring and summer fashions seem so out of place next tot he simpler clothes Kal and his parents wear. At the swimsuits, Kara stops and blinks at the bikini displayed on a mannequin. ||What's the purpose of this? This clothing covers very little. Wouldn't it just be simpler to be naked?|| She's speaking quietly so as not to be overheard by the other shoppers.
||You and my mother would agree,|| responds Clark. He points around, ||See anything you like? I wish I were more up to date on what's cool for a girl your...apparent...age to wear, but I'm afraid I just don't have much in the way of that skillset||. Clark pulls out an atrocious looking long sleeved t-shirt with horizontal red stripes, ||what do you think?||
Kara walks around, looking. And even if she's new to Earth, she can still see that horizontal stripes aren't anywhere near fashionable. ||Ummmm....we'll...keep that one in mind||, she says in an amused tone.||And why would someone dress to be cold? Isn't the point of clothing protection from being cold?|| She's still looking around, when something catches her eye and she moves towards the screen print t-shirts.
||Well, clothing kind of serves a couple of purposes here. The mass media likes to sell...You know what? I don't know. The clothes just are what they are. It's crazy, huh? To think fashion designers get paid to come up with these||. Clark sighs, and decides he's not in the mood to talk to his cousin about the degradation of society through the impulsive desires of popular culture. Instead he follows along, ||What is it?||
Kara turns round to face Kal, her face lit up with a smile. Held against her chest is white t-shirt with powder blue collar and sleeve cuffs...with the 'S'shield logo in red. ||Do they do this to honor you?|| She holds the shirt back out, turning it around to get a better look. ||I like it,|| she says with a bit of pride.
Clark blushes immediately, ||You know I wasn't really a fan at first, to be honest. Really, I kind of felt the whole think reeked of idolatry. But, try as I might, they keep making them and people keep wearing them.||
Kara smiles and hugs the shirt to her chest. ||This one...definitely...||
Over the next few minutes, Kara picks out an assortment of tops and pants. Most are rather conservative, but she does get daring when she finds a mannequin displaying a crop-top shirt and cut-off jeans shorts. ||I saw some girls wearing clothes like this on the way over...|| She looks over at Kal and hands over a set of the clothes on display.
||Kara,|| Clark says as he shoves the crop-top shirt and cut-off shorts back, ||If I bring those home, my mother will kill me. Let's go with something a bit more modest, huh?||
||But why?|| Kara asks, a look of obvious confusion on her face. ||Other females my age wear this. Isn't the point for me to fit in?||
||Yes, but showing off skin is a sign of...well...showing off your body is...hrm. It invites the wrong kind of attention.|| Clark is clearly flustered at this point.
Kara looks between the mannequin displays. Back and forth a couple times. Then she turns back to Kal with a sigh. ||Earth may be primitive, but it's far more complex than Krypton.|| She manages a little smile for Kal. ||This is going to take a while for me to figure out, isn't it?||
Clark sighs heavily and nods as he continues moving the cart a long, ||I sure hope so.|| Going over to the toiletries, Clark turns, ||I'm not sure what they used for care products on Krypton. Here...they get really into it. /Really/ into it.||
While Kara still doesn't understand English, the pictures on the boxes tend to show what each product is for. The myriad aromas and scents start confusing her hyper-sensitive nose, until Kara takes a deep breath and focuses. She remembered seeing things like 'shampoo' and 'soap' in the bathroom at the Kent farm; she doesn't know what the writing means, but she identifies the patterns as similar. She picks out a few that smell nice to her. And then a toothbrush and toothpaste, having seen those in the bathroom as well. Fortunately, hair brushes are hair brushes weather on Earth or Krypton, and Kara chooses one. ||I don't know if I'm missing anything,|| she says. ||I'm so used to a simple paste or sonic application...this is going to take a *lot* of getting used to||.
Clark peers at the items and grabs down some deodorant, ||Not that you'll need it, but it will help you blend in||. For some reason these humans are big on the smelly stuff.
Kara nods ass the deodorant is added to the cart. Then she smiles and hugs him, placing her face on his chest. ||Thank you, Kal. I never would have survived here without this kind of help.||
||Hey, that's what family is for.|| Clark hugs her back and squeezes her. It's good to have her here. It's good to have family. ||So, I have to head back to Metropolis later this afternoon. Would you like to see where I live?||
The invitation makes Kara smile wider. "Yes!" she says in English. At least she knows that much. ||Will we fly there? By ourselves?||
Clark nods, ||Usually I fly there really quickly in order to avoid being seen. We'll have to test out how fast you can fly.|| Clark checks down through the cart to see if they're missing anything, ||Can you think of anything else you might need?||
A rumbling in Kara's stomach answers that question for her. She smiles at Kal in embarrassment. ||Food?||
"OH! Right!" Clark says in English. ||Let's get checked out, and I'll take you to Frank's Buffet. You can eat all you want there, and it's pretty good too!||
Items are paid for and Kara has a rather pleased expression; her first ever shopping trip completed. She has to admit that even with the cultural difficulties, it was fun. And she gives a quick glance back towards the women's department, her x-ray vision fixed on the scantily dressed mannequin. Maybe when she's shopping on her own...
At the buffet, Kara gets plateloads of food, looking to try everything that's spread out in the restaurant. Other patrons look amazed that such a slender girl can be eating so much. "Must be one o them models," an older lady whispers to her friend. "They eat a whole mess then make themselves throw it all up.."
Clark can hear their cruel words, but continues eating as well. He looks up at her and smiles, hoping that she's enjoying her meal. He whispers slightly in Kryptonian, so that the others cannot hear. ||Good?||
Kara nods enthusiastically, her mouth currently full of ice cream. After she swallows, she smiles. ||It's strange...but I think I can get used to it. Especially the....hamburger? That was good.|| She did hear the woman's comment, her super-hearing starting to kick in, and she looks over with a frown. ||Kal...what is it like living with humans? Some of them are nice like Jonathan and Martha. And some seem...cruel. I cannot understand words, but I understand the tones||
Clark gives a long sigh and looks at Kara, before beginning to speak. ||It's like Krypton, I assume. Some people are kind, others are not. You learn to focus on the good people who bring happiness and meaning to your life. Those who try to tear you down usually have their own reasons for misery. And as a reflex, they just try to bring others down with them. It's those same people you'll help to inspire one day when you take the skies. Like me."
||It's nothing like Krypton||, Kara says quietly. There was a follow-up, but then Kal's words shock her a little. ||You mean...to be a hero like you? To be Flamebird to your Nightwing?|| She giggles a bit, covering up her mouth when others stare, then go back to their business. ||Sorry||, she says with a smile. ||I just...I used to dream of being Flamebird when I was a little girl. Argo City was where they were from, after all.||
||Well,|| Clark nods. ||If you want to. To be honest, this world needs more heroes. Your skill set...would be perfect. And it would let you see something else about this world. That they can be inspired. That you can change the course of history for the better.||
Kara sits there, thinking about the offer. ||They put the symbol of our House on clothing to honor you. You've made such a difference, they feel that they have to, to show respect.|| She thinks some more, taking another bite of ice cream while pondering. ||You're a champion to them. A protector. And that's something I want to be: a protector of lives. I've seen enough death for a thousand lifetimes. With the power I have here...I can stop there from being more.|| Kara smiles at her cousin with pride. ||our parents would be proud of the man you've become, Kal-El. And I would be honored to be a Supergirl to your Superman||,
||Thank you for your kind words, Kara. I hope they'd be proud of me too. And I think that you'll have the same mark on society. I feel like we must use these gifts to help make the world a better place. And I think we can help inspire the world."
Kara smiles with loving pride at her cousin. ||The ceremonial armor. You wear that when you are Superman?||
||I do. I feel it's an homage to my people. It was coincidental that the house of El marking resembles the first letter in Superman|| Clark finishes up eating and wipes his mouth. In a move that hearkens to his oldish upbringing at the hands of the Kents, he pats his stomach.
Kara watches, then imitates Kal's motions. ||Then I'll need to get my own armor ready.|| She seems quite pleased with the prospect, actually. ||Also...you have another life. Clark Kent. Do I need to have another life of my own? And if I do, what should I be?||
||I think showing the world that Superman's cousin has come to help will be a great boon for the people of this world.|| Clark pauses, looking forlorn. ||They do not know we are aliens. I'm not sure how they'll respond. What do you think?|| He tilts his head, ||For now, you're just Kara. You'll develop your persona as you see fit. That's my opinion, anyways.||
||You've lived among them, Kal||, Kara replies. ||I will follow your lead.|| She smiles gently after thinking a bit. ||On Krypton, I was going to be an artist. Like my mother. I think I'd like to do that here; be a artist. To bring some beauty into this world.||
Clark nods as he takes a drink of milk, ||I think that's a wonderful idea. I also think it might be good to consider putting you into a school to get used to the world and people who are about your own age. Either here or in Metropolis.||
Kara bites her lip a bit, working between the two choices. ||Can I decide later?|| The look of hesitation turns into a smile. ||At least, show me Metropolis, first. So i can make an informed decision||.
Clark nods, ||Of course. And nothing has to be decided now. A lot of this will be your decision, Kara. We need to think about what you want and what will make you happy.||
Kara smiles gently and reaches over to take Kal's hand in hers. ||What makes me happy...is that I have my cousin back. I have my family back||. She continues smiling, then takes a deep breath. ||What do you think I should do? If you had these choices before you, what would you choose?||
||I would choose patience. I would take everything in and make a decision later when it was clear what that decision should be.|| Clark swipes at the tab and flags down the waitress, producing some money. ||And I'd try my best to get acclimated and have a fun time while doing it.||
||Fun?|| Kara asks after the waitress has taken the check away. ||What do humans do for fun? Does it involve the television that you thought I would enjoy?||
Clark chuckles, ||You weren't so crazy about the television, huh?|| He shrugs his shoulders. ||Go to movies. Talk on the phone. I don't think you'll know until you mingle around them. For me, when I was that age, I basically hung out with my friends and went to coffee shops. That might be passe these days."
||I didn't understand it||, Kara admits. ||Although...|| she thinks for a moment and smiles. ||I did like one thing I saw. Drawings that moved. I've never seen anything like that before!||
Clark laughs, ||Cartoons. Yeah, those are pretty neat. Listen, tomorrow, after I get done with work, we're going to head up north so you can see my other place. I want to show you some things I have up there. I think it's the closest thing to Krypton you'll find here. Also, we can help you to learn the language. One of your powers here is to recollect. You'll be able to learn it rather quickly."
Kara smiles and nods. "Yes." She's rather proud of that word right now. ||Can I come with you tomorrow? To Metropolis where you work? I promise I won't be in the way!||
||Absolutely,|| Clark rises as he gets his card back. ||But as for now, we'd better get back. I need to help Dad with some things back on the farm.||
Kara nods and stands up. "Kal...one thing. Early this morning, before the sun rose...there was this annoying noise...|| Kara makes an attempt as a rooster's crow. ||Does that always happen? Because I think I'd want to silence whatever creature or thing was making it day after day.||
Clark looks down and smiles, ||||Well, in a way you just did.|||| He points to some chicken bones. ||They taste good. Come on. Let's go.||