“Connor and Cathy, sitting in a tree,
“First comes love, then comes marriage,
“Then comes Cathy with a baby carriage.”
“Get away you little brats. I am so going to kill you dead.”
Childish giggles quickly went away. But Cathy couldn’t go back to making out with Connor in the garden of her father’s childhood home. She couldn’t relax, knowing her little brother and sister were around somewhere, ready to make fun of her again.
At the dinner table that night, Matty and Sammy were whispering. But of course, she had super-hearing. Dad, was of course, out attending to his duties as Superman.
“I can hear you, you little brats. Moom, make them stop.”
Lois Lane-Kent didn’t have super-hearing. But she knew when her children were misbehaving.
“Matthew Jonathan Kent, Samantha Ellen Kent, if you two don’t start behaving I’m going to send you to your rooms without any supper.”
“But Mooom,” two little voices chorused.
Cathy sent her boyfriend a smug smile. Connor Queen was as blonde as his father and oh so gorgeous, even at eighteen.
Pity it didn’t last, Catherine sighed. But she still got a smile on her face when she thought about her first real teenage crush. She and Connor had known each other all their lives. He’d been the one to tease her, make faces at her when they were younger. Childish antagonism had turned into first love. Puppy love, her parents called it.
“Cathy? You’ve been standing there stirring for the last five minutes.”
She looked up at her sister-in-law.
“Sorry Alexis. Guess I was miles away.”
“Something you want to get off your chest?”
“Well, Dad and Ollie are just about to tear each other’s heads off.”
Alexis sighed. “Who knows with those two. Apparently, Mom says they’ve been like that since they’ve known each other. I guess she’d know, since she dated him. Them.” She shook her head, frowning.
Catherine thought about that for a second. It was ironic. Oliver had dated Kate, Alexis’ mother when they were teenagers. Long before Kate had married Lex Luthor. Then he’d dated Lois, Catherine’s mom, and Alexis’ mother-in-law, until she’d fallen for Clark. Oliver had always been a big part of the family. Hell, he was Sammy’s godfather.
Catherine joined her family in the living room. She was surprised to see the blonde head of her ex-boyfriend among the people gathered.
“Con? Oh my god, when did you get back?”
Connor Queen grinned and pulled her into a hug.
“A couple of months ago. I’ve been working for Dad at the Star City branch.”
Queen Industries had expanded worldwide several years ago. Connor had at first been reluctant to follow in his father’s footsteps. But he’d studied for his masters in business just the same. Plus he had taken up the mantle of the Green Arrow.
“So, how’s law school?” he asked.
“It’s great. You know I’m just about to graduate right?”
“Yeah. Anyway, I decided to take a couple of days off and come visit the family for your Dad’s birthday.”
“Who knew you’d actually knuckle down and work for a living.”
Jonathan came in, holding Connor’s namesake – his and Alexis’ son, Kon, who was six months old now and ruling the roost.
“Well, who’d have thunk you’d be an old married man at twenty-seven? And a father!”
“What are you trying to say Queen?” he said, giving his wife a quick kiss on the cheek and handing their son over. She winked at Catherine, who sighed. Jonathan was giving Connor the same old look they’d used to give each other right before they got down on the floor and started wrestling.
“Bring it, Superman.”
“You’re on, Green Arrow.”
The two younger men adopted the same pose their fathers had adopted. Only it seemed like Oliver and Clark were re-enacting an old game. Clark was holding back his super-strength.
“What’s wrong, farmboy? Battery run out?”
“I got a little more juice left rich boy,” Clark returned.
“Oh god, make them stop,” Lois groaned.
Each pair were going head to head. Clark and Jonathan had the clear advantage over their opponents, since they both had super-powers, but Oliver and Connor had both learned cunning.
“Oliver Jonas Queen, I swear to god you are the most embarrassing ...” Dinah was chiming in.
Oliver, who had kept himself trim, still looked as if he was in his mid-fifties, rather than in his sixties. Clark, on the other hand, still looked as if he was in his twenties.
“Dad!” Catherine tried, exasperation in her voice.
Oliver had him in a headlock and was mussing his hair. Clark grinned at his daughter, then turned and mock punched Oliver who scowled.
“That’ll teach you old man,” he chuckled.
Lois was shaking her head. As was Alexis as she watched her man win the contest with Connor.
“Boys!” they said. Then they looked at each other.
“I guess men will never change,” Lois said.
“No they won’t Mom.”
Little Kon was reaching out for his Dad, who took the little boy and began throwing him up in the air. Clark and Oliver, the mock fight forgotten, laughed over Jonathan’s antics as the infant gurgled happily.
Connor was watching Catherine. He smiled at her and nodded his head outside. She followed him to the porch. Martha Kent was sitting in the warm spring sun.
“Hey Grams,” Catherine said, kissing her grandmother on the cheek.
“Hello sweetheart. I heard a little ruckus in there.”
“Oh just Dad and Uncle Ollie being their usual selves. Pretending to fight and driving Mom crazy.”
Martha smiled fondly. “Those two are incorrigible,” she said.
“Are you cold Grams?”
“No sweetheart. You two go on. I’m fine out here.”
Catherine led Connor to the fence. The farm was long gone, but the boundary fence was still here. She looked up. Here was the arbour where Alexis and Jonathan had held the wedding last year. Martha had decided to keep it up. She was in her eighties now and couldn’t keep up with the garden as much as she used to, but Dad often flew to the farm to help, and Mom came up when she could.
“So, how are you really?” Connor asked.
Catherine shrugged. “Okay.”
“Jonathan tells me you were seeing some guy. Another student?”
“Yeah, but we broke it off.”
“Would you believe me if I said no one compares to you? And I can’t believe I said that. I mean, you used to tease me horribly when we were kids.”
“Yeah, but you know what they say: You only pull the pigtails of the one you love.”
“That’s the whole problem. We’ve known each other our whole lives.”
“What’s wrong with that?” Connor said. “I’ve always loved you Cathy. You have to know that. And it killed me every time I heard you were going out with some dick who didn’t deserve you.”
“They weren’t all dicks,” Catherine said, colouring prettily. She always seemed to blush easily when he was around.
“I notice you didn’t deny the other part,” Connor whispered, pulling her into his arms.
“No, I didn’t,” she whispered back. “Um, there’s something I have to tell you. When I graduate, I’m not going to be working for a law firm in Metropolis.”
“You’re not? How come?”
“I got offered a job in Star City,” she said. “And I accepted it.”
“Why?” he asked, his eyes wide, as if he didn’t dare think of the answer.
“Because my heart’s there. It always has been.”
Connor leaned over to kiss her. There wasn’t that much difference in the height. Catherine had inherited her father’s height.
“Hey you two. Cake time.”
Catherine grinned at Connor, then took his hand and they went back into the house, following Martha and Alexis. The screen door shut with a squeak and a bang but no one really paid any attention as the family gathered around to wish Clark a happy birthday. She found herself glancing at Connor. Who knew what the future held for them. But she knew whatever it would be, they would face it together.
“Connor and Cathy, sitting in a tree ...” Sammy was smirking at her and whispering the old rhyme.
“I am so going to kill you,” she whispered back in reply to her sister. “You just wait.”