Prodigals (PG-13)
David J. Duncan
November 2003

Notes: The characters from Forever Knight belong to Sony Tri-Star. The characters from Xena Warrior Princess belong to StudiosUSA and Renaissance Studios. The characters from Mutant X belong to Marvel and Tribune. Spider-Man, the Soviet Super Soldiers and the X-Men belong to Marvel. The characters from Smallville belong to DC Comics and the WB. The characters from Dark Angel and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda belong to their copyright holders. All other characters are fictitious and belong to me. Please send comments to

Spoilers: Smallville--Drone and Slumber.

Thanks to Emily for beta reading and Judy for her sneak peek of this one.


[Amazon Village, 85 AD]

Gabrielle, Bard-Queen of the Amazons, writes-.

After the Faerie Empress' revelation concerning David's past, things settle down a bit. Instead of finding a new enemy to fight, he finds three more students for his special group. And then there is the question of a new professor-one that creates waves for us all.


Chapter 1 [Student Union]

Dave sat in the corner of the Union's food court, analyzing his files. He had tried working in his office but the phone wouldn't stop ringing. They all mean well, but the registrar wants a list by the end of the week. He tapped a pencil on the table, thinking of the possibilities that the candidates offered.

"Dave, you have a minute?" Henry Small wondered.

The medievalist looked up to see the law professor standing there. "Henry, please take a seat! What's up?"

"I'm just getting used to being here. This is a great campus. How about you?" Henry replied.

"Just looking over some applicant files is all. This year's class was such a success that I want to bring in some more folks," Dave assessed.

"And Clark and Lana are right at the head of it, I trust?"

"Exactly right. They have great grades, keep their noses clean, and do well on the team. If I could find six people like them or Miranda, I would be ecstatic," Dave remarked, taking a forkful of salad before continuing.

"I can't agree more. You know, I really wanted to thank you for bringing Lana and me together," the lawyer told him.

"Fate works in strange ways. It brought Clark and Lana out here and got me back to Smallville. Just go with it, Henry," Dave advised.

You would know about fate. "Speaking of Smallville, I was wondering if you would be willing to take on another case from our neck of the woods?" Henry inquired.

"I don't see why not. Who do you have in mind?" the historian queried.

"Her name's Sasha Woodman. She was just released from a juvenile detention facility," Henry proposed.

Dave glanced skeptically at him. "Henry, come on! This is a university. I can't just bring anyone in off of the street."

"And you aren't guilty of being out of control at times? At least talk to her," Henry requested.

Well, she might be like Byron. I can ask the kids about her. "All right, Henry, since I have another person in Smallville to chat with, I'll go and have a talk with her," Dave conceded. "No promises though."

"That's all I can ask," Henry said. "Who else are you looking at?"

"I have a small list of candidates-about five in all. I have two others transferring in already. There's one other person I've had my eye on for some time. Sarah Conroy is coming. And I think Adam Kane wants me to look at someone as well."

"That sounds great," Henry complimented. "I'll let you get back to work."

"All right. Listen, Angie was wondering if you, Jennifer, and the kids wanted to come over at some point. Just let us know when," Dave told him.

"That sounds good," Henry concurred. "I'll give you a call. See you later."

"See you," Dave replied, waving to him as he turned back to his work. I hope these kids work out. Opening his folder once again, he scanned through the materials in there. Imagine, an Arabian princess wants to come here. Well, she checks out security-wise, so there shouldn't be a problem. He smiled, recalling his conversation with Marie Haddad earlier that month. Apparently, she's a real hot potato. I'll find out at the end of the week.


Chapter 2 [Luthor Hacienda]

Lex sat behind his desk, reading through applications for the LexCorp Science scholarship. Since advertising the award two months earlier, he had received a pile of submissions. After several days of calling references and checking transcripts, he finally had one name: Peter Parker. This kid seems like the real deal. If his teachers aren't exaggerating, he could be the next coming of Adam Kane. He picked up the phone and dialed the young man's phone number. Getting a message machine, he said, "Good afternoon, my name is Lex Luthor. I'm calling for Peter Parker concerning the LexCorp scholarship. If you can call me back at (520) 678-9870, I would appreciate it. Thank you again for applying and I look forward to hearing from you."

He rubbed his scalp, easing the tension under there. Glad that's over with. Between these last minute deals and this scholarship competition, I feel as if I'm ready to climb the walls. Walking down the stairs, he found his wife typing away at her computer. "The journalist's work is never done, is it?"

"You know it," Chloe concurred, eyes glued to the screen and fingers flying across the keyboard.

"Through with the scholarships yet?"

"Just finished. We have our winner. His name is Peter Parker," he replied, giving her a kiss on the cheek. "I have a call out to him right now."

"That's great!" she noted, flashing a big grin at him. The competition had been taking way too much of his free time for her liking. "Now maybe I might get some time with my husband?"

He smirked and arched his eyebrows at her. "What the lady wants, the lady gets. I think dinner at Silvio's in order. You agree?"

She shrugged, but allowed her eyes to sparkle at him. "Sounds good to me. Give me an hour and we can go."

"I'm holding you to that, Sullivan," he gibed, leaving the room.

"Get!" she retorted, going back to her work. Men-.


[Manhattan-An hour later]

As the sun set over Manhattan, people bustled about trying to get home after a long day at work. The usual traffic jams snarled the streets. The subways carried thousands of other commuters toward the outer boroughs. Nobody moved very quickly-well almost nobody.

Overhead, a figure in red and blue spandex swung from building to building on impossibly thin web lines. At the apex of each arc, he pointed his wrist at the next structure and fired another line at it. Over and over, he repeated this action, speeding across the city. For Spider-Man, this commute couldn't go fast enough. Between listening to J. Jonah Jameson's latest rant against him at The Daily Bugle and interceding in a bank robbery, he was exhausted. There's enough in this city to exhaust anyone, even someone with the proportional strength and stamina of a spider.

Reaching his apartment building, the wall crawler landed in the alley behind it. Once there, he pulled the web pack from his back and ripped it open to reveal his street clothes. Having done so, he unmasked and put on those items before walking out toward the street.

Peter Parker ran his hand through his hair and sighed. Upon graduating from Midtown High School, he had looked for appealing scholarship offers. While several schools had offered good packages, he wanted something unique. MIT and that class of schools just isn't what I want. Walking in the front door of his building, he climbed the stairs and unlocked the door. Harry's not home yet. Good. That'll give me a minute to stash this stuff. After sliding the bag with his mask, gloves, and web shooters under the bed, he came back out into the living room and saw the phone message light flashing. Maybe it's MJ.

Pressing the button, he heard: "Good afternoon, my name is Lex Luthor. I'm calling for Peter Parker concerning the LexCorp scholarship. If you can call me back at (520) 678-9870, I would appreciate it. Thank you again for applying and I look forward to hearing from you."

Pete nodded. While a call from the redhead of his dreams would have been great, he would take this call as well. I wonder if I got it? Dialing the phone, he waited for an answer.

"Lex Luthor here," Lex answered.

"Mr. Luthor, this is Peter Parker returning your call. How are you, sir?"

"I'm great. Thank you for returning my call. I was wondering if you'd still be interested in the LexCorp scholarship and coming out here?"

Pete thought hard for a minute. While Arizona had a lot of great things about it, he knew that being so far away would be hard on Aunt May. Still, she would tell me to go for it. "I am. Mr. Luthor, does the university still require that visit?"

"I believe it does and I would like to meet you face to face as well. Just to resolve some last minute paperwork of course," the billionaire replied.

For some reason, his spider sense sent him a gentle nudge. What's out there that caused that? "When would like me to come?"

"In about a week or so. Can I contact you when I get more information?" Lex inquired.

"Absolutely. Thank you once again for this chance," Pete concluded.

"My pleasure. Talk to you soon," Lex concluded, hanging up.

After he had done the same, Pete smiled. A well-rounded school. That does sound good. With that, he headed for the shower, eager to relax from the day's demands.


Chapter 3 [Kent Condo] (Spoilers: Smallville: Drone)

Lana stirred a pot on the stove, keeping an eye on the meal cooking in front of her. Dr. Alvaro says that the cream sauce can't be overcooked. Over the past few days, she and the Italian Literature professor had experimented with this sauce, trying to get it right. I want it to be right before I push it on Clark or the others. To make matters more tense, Martin, Kayla, Byron, and Sandra were coming over for dinner.

"Lana? What smells so good?" Clark called from the door as he walked in.

"Clark, I thought you weren't coming in for another hour," she replied, glancing nervously over at him. "I wanted to surprise you."

He shrugged and kissed her. "Whatever it is, it'll be great. I won't ask what it is since I know how much it means to you."

She flashed him a smile. "Thanks. I really appreciate that. Did you get to the market?"

He set two bottles of Pepsi down on the table. "I hope that this is okay."

"It's great. Thanks," she assured him. "The salad's chilling in the fridge. Can you let me know what you think?"

He opened the door and found a tossed Romaine salad sitting on the top shelf. Taking a fork, he speared a couple of leaves and put them in his mouth, savoring the spices. "You worry too much. This is great."

"Practice makes perfect. Remember how long it took me to get the coffee right at the Talon?" she countered.

"But you didn't have Dr. Alvaro helping you with that. Hey, remember how you impressed Mom last week? She still raving about your ziti," he declared.

"She's being nice about that. I can't believe I over-browned the top," she argued, arching her brow at him.

He rubbed her shoulder. "You're trying too hard. Have faith in yourself."

She chuckled warmly. "Thanks. Can you set the table? The others will be here shortly."

"Sure," he agreed and went to do so.

Now if this all works out. She sighed, looking at the developing meal and hoping for the best.


A couple of hours later, Clark and Lana sat with their guests enjoying themselves. With the exception of the recent mission against the Black Hand, the summer had been quiet. Everyone looked forward to school starting again the following week.

"I'm looking forward to classes again," Martin told the others.

"That poetry class will be great," Byron concurred, anticipating the pleasure of that class.

"And I'll be looking for a poem a day out of it," Sandra teased.

"Chloe and I are in that class too," Lana pointed out. "Does anyone know who this Dr. Roberts is?"

"According to the English Department, she's a new prof.," Byron replied, taking a mouthful of creamy pasta.

"Just don't overwhelm her at once, Byron," Clark urged mischievously. "We want her to last more than this class."

"She who's blessed should not of it think less," the poet quipped. "Speaking of which, Lana, this is divine."

The hostess blushed nervously. "Thanks, Byron, I'm glad you like it."

"You're becoming quite the cook," Sandra added.

"I'll say. If I knew you could do this, I would have dropped by the Talon a few more times," Kayla complimented.

Clark smiled warmly. "I told you so."

"Yeah, you did," she concurred, giving his hand a squeeze.

"By the way, I hear Professor Dubois is looking for new students," Martin said, changing the subject.

"He's been pouring through that big folder of his the last few days. Dr. Kane has some folks too," Kayla noted. "I can't wait to meet the others."

"Just when we were getting adjusted to each other," Clark muttered.

"It's always good to have new people around," his wife soothed. "I'm with Kayla. I can't wait to meet our new classmates. And it's terrific that Sarah got in as well. You of all people should know what she went through with her uncle."

More than you'll know. He sighed, remembering how he had helped Sarah defeat her demon in the dreamscape. "I'm glad she decided to apply along with the others." He gave Lana a smile to let her know that he agreed with her.

"They should be here within the next week or so. The Professor's going to be out of town for a couple of days so we should see," Martin supposed.

Just then, there was a knock at the door.

Clark walked over and opened it to find Dave standing there. "Professor? Please come in."

"Thanks, Clark. Hi, everyone, sorry to interrupt your dinner," the Professor apologized.

"No problem at all. We have extra if you'd like," Lana invited.

"Actually, is that fettuccine alfredo? I would like to try some if I could," Dave accepted, taking a chair.

Lana served him a plate and remarked, "I hope you like it."

The medievalist took a mouthful, sampling the flavor there. "You're becoming quite the cook. I'll have to tell Dr. Alvaro that she's a great mentor."

"It's nice of you to say so," Lana accepted.

"I wouldn't say it if it weren't true. This is great." Then Dave pulled out his folder and asked, "I did have a question about a former classmate of yours though, Clark and Lana. How well did you know Sasha Woodman?"

"Wasn't she one of the candidates for class president during freshman year?" Lana wondered.

Clark nodded. He remembered how Woodman had used her control over bees to pick off two competing candidates. He also recalled how she had sent her friends after his mother and then, after him and Lana at the Talon. "Is that a good idea, Professor? She did attack us."

"She did?" Lana asked.

"Remember the bees in the Talon? Sasha was sending them after me. I had to freeze them to save us," Clark pointed out.

"Apparently, your father-in-law sees something in her, Clark. I've agreed to talk with her. I would like you both to come with me when I do so. Maybe seeing some familiar faces would help," the medievalist reported.

"Maybe," Martin disagreed. "Maybe not. Well, as you said, you can talk with her."

"When will that happen?" Kayla inquired.

"This weekend. Besides your Dad needs some help in the back forty, Clark. I figured it'd be good to pitch in," the Professor supposed.

"That would be nice," Byron stated. "If you don't mind, I'd like to go visit Mother. It's been a few weeks since I did so last."

"That will be fine," Dave agreed. "We'll talk with Sasha at the Talon and then meet Sarah Conroy at your parents' place, Clark. Meantime, I have a trip to Istanbul tomorrow."

"Istanbul?" Martin wondered.

"Yes. I need to meet one of your new classmates over there. Her name's Jasmine," Dave told them. "Dr. Haddad recommended her."

"Okay," Lana replied, recalling the Islamicist from the honeymoon trip. "I still remember that hotel we stayed in. That was something else."

"Mehmet has a nice place. That's for sure. Yes, we'll be meeting in the lobby. Well, I need to get going. This is really good, Lana," Dave concluded, getting up from the table. "See you all in a couple of days."

"A student from the Middle East? I can't wait to meet her," Lana declared.

"Whatever. I'm sure she'll be nice," Clark noted, going back to his fettuccine.

The others did the same, even as they wondered how the new recruits would fit in with the group. It would be interesting to find out for sure.

Onto Part 2

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