Shortly after her arrival on Earth, Kara Zor-El learns the meaning of a strange new holiday named Christmas.
This story this set in the same Fan Verse than Hellsister Trilogy, Dance with the Demons With this Ring... (Green Lantern), Funeral for a Flash, Kara of Rokyn, A Force of Four, Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation and Superman and Man. Dark Mark has also written The Vampire of Steel, The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, Here There Be Monsters, A Prize for Three Empires, X-Men 1970, FIRE!, Devil's Diary, Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime and Maybe the Last Archie Story.
Tropes found in this fanfiction:
- Adventures in the Bible: Subverted when Superman tells his cousin he cannot travel back to the time when Jesus lived because the time-stream is blocked by an intangible barrier or "discontinuity".
- A God I Am Not: As practicing flight, Kara is acutely aware that her powers are godlike, but being a monotheistic Raotian, she feels bothered by the implication. After some thinking, she decides that comparing herself with some mythological goddess may be acceptable.
- Amnesiacs are Innocent: In order to avoid uncomfortable questions about her parents or her birthplace and excuse her weird behavior away, Linda pretends that she is amnesiac while living in the orphanage.
- As the Good Book Says...: At Christmas Eve, Linda is asked to read an excerpt (Luke 1:26 through 2:20, specifically). Inwardly, she prays that she does not screw it up.
- Brain Bleach: Jimmy Olsen accidentally drops his cup of coffee right on co-worker Frank Potts' groin. Aghast, Jimmy takes some blank pages and attempts to wipe Frank's crotch off, but Frank angrily tells him to stay away, adding that "[he's] going to devote the rest of [his] life to wiping [Jimmy's] image from [his] brain".
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: When Kara realizes her cover might have been blown up, Superman decides to fetch Amnesium -a mind-wiping drug- and douse the whole school if necessary. Unwilling to brainwash her schoolmates, though, Kara asks him to let her handle it first.
- Buffy Speak: Linda's roommates will use expressions and words like "for cry-yi" or "kind of spyey".
- Complexity Addiction: Kara finds out two of her schoolmates have found her wig and figured out she has a secret. She has three options to deal with that situation: first, coming clean about her secret identity; second, letting Superman brainwash them; third, learning how to make costumes and carve wood, buying raw materials -paid with freshly-mined gold and squeezed diamonds-, making a bunch of Christmas decorations in a single night, and then showing them Kate and Jennifer to convince them that she was preparing a Christmas surprise for their schoolmates, and she was wearing one of her wigs to test if she could make convincing disguises.
- Cry into Chest: Kara bursts out in tears when she remembers how her parents and friends died, and she buries her head into her cousin's chest while he hugs her comfortingly."Kara." He quickly put his arms around her. "Don't think about it, honey, not right now."
"Oh, I can't help it," she said, and sobbed, purging out pain for her mother, her father, her friends, and everything she had known for fifteen years, wiped out in a single week. She buried her head in his chest and wet his S-shield with her tears.
- Despair Event Horizon: Invoked by Dick when he explains why he is worried about Linda: people who have lost their beloved ones face a far higher suicide risk during Christmas.Dick Wilson: "Linda, it's like this. Christmas is the big time of the year when everybody's supposed to be happy. Santa Claus is comin' to town, ho-ho-ho, all the candy canes and stuff under the tree and Sears catalogs and people freezin' their rear ends off out caroling. So everybody's supposed to love each other and all those good vibes just floating around. But sometimes, if you don't feel the good vibes, that makes it so much worse. Depression increases at Christmas. The fact that it's near the shortest day of the year doesn't help much. Suicides go up. You know what I'm sayin'?"
- The '50s: The story is set in 1959.
- Fish out of Water: Linda arrived in Earth and was dumped in an orphanage half year ago. She knows hardly anything about Earth customs, and as a result of it, she gets bewildered stares when she lets slip that she does not what Christmas is.
- Forgot About His Powers: Kara hangs her wig in a tree because she has no time to go back to her secret hideaway, -what with Superman calling her- clearly forgetting she can come and go within one nanosecond. Justified because she is still an unexperienced apprentice.
- Funetik Aksent: A plot point. Linda had some sort of odd, unidentifiable accent when she arrived at the Midvale Orphanage, but she dropped it within a couple of weeks. This, coupled with other weird quirks, leads her roomates to wonder if she might be an enemy spy which needed to be watched over.
- Groin Attack: Jimmy Olsen accidentally spills his cup of coffee right on co-worker Frank Potts' groin. Fortunately, Clark Kent surreptitiously cools the hot drink right before it lands with a precise gust of freezing breath, and Frank gets merely wet and embarrassed instead of scalded.
- Instant Costume Change: Linda goes out to the woods at night and changes clothes at super-speed, moving so fast that she becomes a blur.It was 7:00 at night and Linda was already in the woods beside Midvale Orphanage. She always did a quick survey of the area with her X-ray vision, and used her super-hearing as well, before she changed clothes. She also remembered to do that at super-speed. It wouldn't do for someone to see Linda Lee stripping to her underwear and then taking a small, compressed wafer from her pocket and unfolding it into a female version of Superman's uniform, then donning it. Anyone attempting to watch her, if she had missed them, would have seen the merest blur they could possibly perceive.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Kara feels her cousin is a rather overbearing, harsh mentor/father figure. Even so, she has to admit that he is right to say she needs a lot of training until mastering her powers perfectly, what with being a teenager girl who can accidentally nuke a city into oblivion by sneezing hard.He was acting just like a parent, or the kind of big brother you really don't want around at the time.
The worst part was, he was right and she knew it.
- The Joy of First Flight: Kara oozes boundless joy as she practices her newfound flying powers.Flying. She was flying.
Rao, she loved to fly. Both hands stuck out in front of her balled in fists, air scraping into her face so fast she could feel its heat, smell its sizzle, hear its roar in her long-since-popped ears, the cape flapping behind her like a flag in a high wind, it felt triumphant, she felt triumphant. Not just some lame bird trying to play a role in a house of parentless children, but an unbeatable goddess (dare she think that? Not a real goddess, just a mythical one) with the speed of lightning and the force of a tornado on overtime.
She wanted to shriek in joy, but Kal had told her not to. Somehow, somewhere, someone might hear it. So she just grinned and rocketed into the night sky.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks: Kara is forced to turn Dick Malverne's advances down because she has not yet mastered her "little, totally normal and definitely American-born amnesic orphan" act, and he could notice something is amiss with her.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Linda decides against going out with Dick because, until she has not perfected her "normal, innocent human girl" act, he could figure her secret out.Linda looked at him, appraisingly. It might be fun. Dick was a cute guy, an athlete with an ego not too far out of control. Still, Kal had said that, until she got her role-playing down perfect, getting too close to a guy would be dangerous. Ergo: no dating.
- Mistaken for Spies: Linda's odd accent -which she lost after a couple of weeks-, strange habits and unexplained absences make her roommate Jennifer think Linda may be a Communist plant.
- Mundane Utility: Clark Kent needs to submit an article quickly, so he finishes his piece by typing super-fast, simultaneously using his super-breath to cool the overheated machine."How much longer, Kent?" asked Perry. From the tone of it, he could tell his editor was still a few rows behind him. The sound of the Planet pressroom near deadline time was that of a million metal crickets banging their legs against a cylinder in a mating dance. Nobody was using a typewriter near Clark at the moment.
Hunching over the Olivetti, Clark's fingers sped across the keys faster than Van Cliburn on a piano. A smell of heated metal came from the machine, and he blew on the keys to keep them from warping out of shape. As the last page reeled out, he blew on it to keep it from burning up.
- Mythology Gag:
- Never My Fault: Kate blames Linda for getting sprayed by a skunk, never mind that she bumped into said skunk by accident when she was spying on Linda.
- No Antagonist: This is a story about a person living through Christmas for the first time. The closest thing it has to a villain are two meddlesome, nosy schoolgirls.
- Obfuscating Stupidity:
- Clark always makes sure that his articles contain one or two misspellings or some wonkily structured sentence, lest he draws unwanted attention by writing perfect pieces.
- Linda does not need to study -her Super-Speed and perfect memory ensured that she read all her textbooks and memorized the contents within one day-, but she pretends to study because it would look suspicious if she never opened one book and still did well in school.She was still moving at super-speed, too fast to be detected by the human eye. All she had to do was get her wig out of the tree, get dressed again, and get back to her room by bed check. Actually, she wanted some time before that so that she could get some studying done. She'd already read all of her textbooks all the way through the day she got them, but it looked suspicious if she didn't study.
- Oh, Crap!: Kara stops moving and breathing when she sees her wig has disappeared from its hiding place.All she had to do was get her wig out of the tree, get dressed again, and get back to her room by bed check. Actually, she wanted some time before that so that she could get some studying done. She'd already read all of her textbooks all the way through the day she got them, but it looked suspicious if she didn't study.
It was no big trick to keep track of what tree she had thrown the wig into. She headed for it, scanned ahead with her super-vision.
She stopped breathing, almost stopped moving.
The wig wasn't where she'd left it.
"Sheol," she whispered, and hoped Kal hadn't heard her.
- Period Piece: The story is set in 1959, the year of Kara Zor-El's first appearance. Clark Kent uses a typewriter, and Linda's roommates wonder whether she may be a Communist spy.
- Show Within a Show: Kal's Christmas gift for his cousin is a copy of "The Kryptoniad", Krypton's greatest epic poem which Kara loves reading.
- Smelly Skunk: Kate and Jennifer go into the woods to discover what Linda is up to, and they disturb a skunk. Jennifer manages to get away, but Kate is not so lucky.
- Stepford Smiler: Linda is constantly smiling and pretending nothing is wrong while suppressing memories of a whole city full of people getting poisoned and dying.
- Super-Senses: Kara uses her superhuman sight, hearing and nose to find her misplaced wig.Supergirl smelled that all over the place. She mentally whapped herself for concentrating so much on what she saw and heard that she didn't use the other senses Rao had given her. Somebody had gotten a royal hosing from a polecat.
Could that be related to the missing wig?
She looked at the tree, and below it, with microscopic and infra-red vision, since it was too dark to use regular sight. There were footprints, broken leaves, all the signs that someone...no, two someones...had been there. Kara wasn't Sherlock Holmes, but she knew that the prints were from girls' shoes. A clump of dirt bore a Keds imprint. No one without super-vision could have picked it out.
There were enough acorns around the base of the oak tree in which she had hid the wig to indicate that the two parties involved had knocked them loose trying to get the thing down. Some rocks nearby, dug up from the ground and still dirty, were what they had used. There were a lot of them, and it would have taken a decent amount of tries to knock the wig loose by throwing rocks at it.
- Tempting Fate: Kara has no time to stash her wig away, so she leaves the prop dangling from a tree's branches before flying away, telling herself it will be safe because no one will see it, or it will be mistaken for a bird's nest. Shortly after, her roommates find and pick her wig, jeopardizing her secret identity.
- Troubled Fetal Position: After a training session, Kara sits down and hugs both knees to her chest as dwelling on her frustrations: her parents are dead, her only living relative is an overbearing taskmaster, she is a stranger in a strange land, she is stuck in an orphanage where she must hide her real self, and she has incredible powers that she is not allowed to use openly lest she kills someone.
- "You!" Exclamation: Kate exclaims an angry "You!" when she sees Linda after her encounter with the skunk (which happened because she was spying on Linda).At 9:50, which was ten minutes to bed-check time, the door to Linda's dorm room swung open. Kate, who was still trying to scrub her hair in the sink, looked up in anger, and said "You!" at the same instant Jennifer cried, "Linda!"