1964-07-09 - Tales of Two Families
Summary: Vesper and Clark share a few things in common.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
clark vesper 


Nothing quite matches New York for pizza. Chicago makes claims. The whole of Italy has recipes, many brought back from the new country to the old. But it's a proper Brooklyn joint which Vesper, showing up on Clark's dorm-step, offers as the escape for an early Sunday evening.

Mario's is a long bus ride from East Village into Brooklyn, but the rumble trap is worth it. It pretty much reflects youth culture in a way a farmboy and a French geneticist can blend into. Tables are plentiful, the menu short, and Coke easy to find. Actual cocaine, not at all; marijuana's the poison of choice and not really for sale much.

"This is a pretty cool place, Vesper," Clark says as he slides into a seat. He hasn't done much sight seeing in town, despite his ability to see a whole lot of things in a short amount of time. He's really been trying to work hard since he's come to NYC and feels sort of guilty at the thought about spending money and time he could be helping someone, his career, or his pocketbook. But just today a phone call with Martha Kent told him he was, in fact, being a bit uptight.

"I hear from other students the pizza here may be the best," says the brunette, adjusting the red and white kerchief wrapped around her head. Her hair spills out behind but it gives Vesper a more casual look. She puts down her small purse on the corner of the table and sits in her own seat. A proper perusal of the menu will come later. "Only one way to find out. Do you have pizza much in Kansas?" A flap of the paper napkin makes it grow white wings, and she makes sure to protect her pants against any rogue sauce or crumbled cheese. "How has your week gone?"

"Well, the company is pretty good. If the pizza isn't half bad then I think we'll be alright," Clark says as his eyes scope out the place. He smiles to her. "Well, I'm not sure anyone in New York would call it pizza, but we have a few places. What about in Paris?" He tilts his head, "Truth be told it's been the usual. School and work. You?" He can't tell her about the car he pulled out of the river or the murder he stopped. He can't tell her a whole lot about himself, really.

The Gallic aplomb that weathers most trouble serves in its place. "I think the company is fine, too." Vesper rests her hands in her lap, nodding to the pizza. Clearly someone comes from a spin of society where the man orders and she probably expects this to be the case, given every dish here isn't exactly small. "I am not sure. Pizza is not something I had in Paris often. We did have Italian food, and the tomato sauces taste wonderful to me. Anything with bread and sauce should be fine." To say nothing of cheese, which is genetically and culturally her heritage. She smiles as he mentions the regular routine. He can't tell her about foiled murder. She can't say how she accidentally ended up in the mid-Atlantic or stuck in a radio tower until remembering which way was out. "Work. I couldn't stay around campus. There was a conference and a murder there. They wanted us out, so I ended up in the library all weekend."

"Oh my gosh," Clark says in astonishment, momentarily forgetting to order. "What happened? Did they find out who did it and did they catch him?" In his experience most of the murderers are men. And he's had far too much experience for an 18 year old. "I'm glad you're alright."

The faint shake of her head speaks volumes. "I am not so sure, Clark. The dean told everyone about the conference. Chemists, not biologists, but there are so many people they needed all our classrooms," Vesper explains. She fidgets in her seat slightly, voice low to avoid upsetting anyone else. "Several men shot a chemist and tried to seize another lady chemist. She works for a large chemical company, DuPont? Her work is… important, I think, to people who value weapons and warfare. She was saved, thank God. But some of the men vanished."

Clark shakes his head, "That's terrible. Do the police have any leads?" As he makes smalltalk about the investigation, the gears are already running in Clark's head on how he plans to investigate this on his own. It's become old hat at this point, with four years of experience stemming from his days with Chloe in Smallville. He almost doesn't realize that he's being asked by a waiter for the order. "Uhm, is deluxe alright?" All those vegetables means it might be partially healthy, he imagines.

Raising her shoulders in a most Gallic shrug, Vesper shakes her head. "I do not know. There was a teenaged boy there, supposedly. And Doctor Richards. Have you heard of him? One of the Fantastic Four?" There's a certain irony in the way she pronounces the team name, as though not fully charmed by it. "He helped the chemist, the one who survived. I imagine he would know more than I do. The police cannot keep the whole campus shut down, far too large. Too many people around the park and here." She nods to Clark's suggestion for a choice. "That sounds good. And we're safe at university. It may sound frightening. But we'll be okay."

"Yeah, Deluxe then. Large, thank you." Clark says as he quickly goes back to the topic at hand. "Yeah, I've heard of Dr. Richards before. He's pretty famous here in this country." Clark may try and get a quote from him as a reporter to help him in finding out what has happened. "Are you?" he says with a raised eyebrow. "Okay, I mean."

"Water, too, please." Vesper's requests are quietly reasonable, and not out of the ordinary in any fashion. She breathes in the scent of warm bread and melted cheese with quiet satisfaction, taking some peace in it. "Me? Yes. It was no worse for me than any other student. I wasn't attending that day. Worse was the man at the bowling alley who…" Her voice trails off, and she gestures to Clark. "I still think about it sometimes. How he shot at you. How little I could do. Please tell me you're all right?"

"I'm fine," Clark says with a smile. "I got really lucky—he missed me entirely. I'm just glad he didn't hit you." He shakes his head, "It's been a crazy couple of days, hasn't it?"

"Mais non, I am still terribly sorry it happened. Your parents must not be happy if they know someone shot at you in the city." Her sunglasses resting on her nose, Vesper slants a look aside. She pushes them up with her fingertip, wincing at the faint glare of the lights on them. "Do they know? Or your cousin? I will not mention it if you think it will cause trouble."

"Do they know?" Clark goes wide eyed for a split second, thinking she means something else. Eventually, he catches on. "Oh, you mean about the gunshot guy, with the gun and the.." He makes a finger gun, even, awkwardly. "Yeah, I mean. They know. They were just happy you and I were both alright." Emphasis on the her. Not too worried about firearms in the Kent family. At least if Clark is close by.

"I hate to think they would worry and tell you to come home." The girl rests her hands in her lap again, and she gives Clark a long, supportive sigh that takes a few centimeters off her height doing it. "As long as you are okay. I'm not sure what his problem was. Maybe the police can find out what was wrong and keep him from hurting himself or anyone else." She hesitates, pondering a few avenues of conversation.

"Nah," Clark says with a dismissive wave. "My parents know I can take care of myself. To be honest, my mom just kept asking about you. I told her we had gone out bowling. I think she likes the idea that you're from Paris. It sounds exotic to her." He nods, "Whatever his issue is, I hope he gets some help."

The soft laughter from Vesper isn't demeaning or cruel, more surprised. "She worries about me?" The notion is mildly surprising, if the pause as the words sinks in is anything to go by. "But she hasn't met me. I… That is very kind of her." Puzzlement has its season and she allows it, unable to really parse the full extent. Still, she tries to hide those flustered tells that someone gives a damn, the curl of her fingers. The tiny smile that doesn't know if it's appropriate or not.

"Well, that's my mom. I'm pretty sure she's a mutant and her mutation is having a big heart for anyone and everyone," Clark says with a bit of a laugh. "But, like I said, that's my mom." He gives an upwards nod, "What are your folks like?"

"Your mother sounds wonderful. Care and concern for others is special, isn't it?" The food is on the way, delivered by someone who brings the drinks too. He puts down the piping hot pizza, sliced already crosswise and cross again to make several large chunks. Paper plates are stacked up just in case, and plenty of napkins. Then without a word he's buzzing off to get another order figured out. Vesper rolls her sleeves up. She knows her business here. No knife or fork! "My parents…" She takes a breath and runs her hand over her hair, pushing her kerchief back a bit. Oops. Correcting it is a welcome distraction. "I recently found out I was adopted, too."

"Really," Clark says as he sits back a little bit. There is so much that brings back memories for him. The good parts and the bad. He's had years to come to grips with it, and she's found out only recently. He's not quite sure of what to say. He reaches for a plate and looks away, only to look back, "How are you doing with it?"

"Really," Vesper replies softly, her hands rather tight. "I thought… Denial was my first response. My parents in France and I were always a little distant. You see, I was sick then." She shrugs slightly and waits for Clark to help himself to the food. "They put me in boarding school in part for my health and, maybe, because it hurt their heart to see me unwell. Not something to blame them for. I felt sometimes they were more like British parents, the kind who like children seen and not heard. But then I've found more proof I had a family. A brother. You see, my parents only had me."

"A brother?" Clark says with a smile. "That's exciting. Do your adoptive parents support you in finding out this stuff about your adoptive parents? I didn't really know anyone from my birth family until Kara tracked me down. My parents have thought it has been positive and they support me in learning more."

"A brother," agrees the brunette, still mildly unsure of the statement. "It is. He has some interests like mine. It helps, though we are learning everything from scratch. Like you and your cousin. It helps to have similarities." Her thumb trails along the fluted edge of a paper plate and she cuts a piece, putting it over. "My adoptive parents don't know… and they never said anything. I thought they were mine."

"They don't?" Clark says with raised eyebrows. "Well, that's a tough one. Sounds like you're in a spot." Finally Clark remembers they are here for dinner and dishes into his food. He pulls a piece out onto his plate and looks at her with sympathy, "Are you going to tell them?"

Vesper nods as she stares at the sea of vegetables on the pizza, floating around the meat disks. "I know. The revelation I had another family was not expected for them or me. They are as much in shock as I am." Her brows crumple slightly and she frowns, Clark's questions shooting to the core of the matter. "I can't not tell my adoptive family I know. Or that I have met my other parents. What sort of person would I be if I hid that?"

"I can see how it would come as a surprise," Clark says, quietly thanking his lucky stars he found out so young. "That's a fair point. I don't know, I thought maybe you might want to protect them or something. That's something I always worried about, I didn't want my family to feel like less…I dunno. Less real."

"How did you tell them? I mean, when they learned about your cousin? Were they okay with that?" Vesper carefully meanders around the query, trying to find a balance. Then she turns to eating her pizza because nothing quite suits discomfort so much as a full stomach.

"Well, actually, I didn't know about Kara. She found them when she was looking for me. So," Clark says with a laugh, "I guess I dodged that bullet, too!"

Lucky duck, as it would happen. Vesper chews on the pizza, cheese and peppers and tomatoes a thing of glory around the sausage. It's hard not to appreciate a near scalding slice of 'za, just saying. "That's a blessing for you."

Clark nods, more soberly now, "It is. And I don't envy you. But the best part about honesty is that when it's all over you'll be able to lay your head down at night and rest easy. It sets you free and all of that."

"I do not like lying. It's not who I am and the dishonesty always comes around to haunt someone who doesn't tell the truth in the end." Vesper may have little difficulty expressing that; the reality lies in other places. "Never thought that we would have that much in common. Not that I complain about it. I am grateful for someone with an honest sense of perspective."

Clark chuckles and takes a sip from his water, "It's really something: a gal from Paris and a guy from Smallville have this much similarity. I wouldn't have thought it at first."

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