When It Rains, It Pours

She had never seen him so pale and vulnerable. Chloe walked into the room and touched her father-in-law's shoulder. The old man blinked one, twice, before turning his head and meeting her eyes.

"Lionel, are you alright?"

His lip twitched nervously. Lionel reached for his stiff alcoholic drink and lifted it to his lips. He drew one quick gulp and placed it down. Chloe frowned and reached for the glass. Before she even touched it, Lionel snatched it away with a snarl.

"This is getting out of hand," she told him. "I want you to march to your room and rest. You look like you're going to have a cardiac arrest. We don't want to have to rush over to the hospital."

Lionel nodded. He himself did not want Chloe going to Smallville General. With his daughter-in-law pregnant though, he did not have a choice. Helen was still working there. He really had to call in a few favors to get the woman transported back to Boston or wherever Lex mentioned she came from. Chloe denied having any problems with the doctor still in town, but Lionel had seen her when her hormone level was erratic. Those smiles would melt into tears and her confidence about her husband's loyalty would metamorphose into insecurity about her appearance. He really needed to have Helen transferred.

"I'm fine, Chloe," he rasped. Then, noticing only then that he was sitting comfortably in his chair while she fussed over him on her feet, Lionel shot up from his seat and ushered her into his own chair.

"Ummm," she said. "Your seat is warm. I don't like it." Chloe squirmed uncomfortably because of the weirdness of sitting on the cushion when she felt her father-in-law's butt print on the material. She gingerly stood.

Lionel rushed to the front of the desk and pulled another chair towards her. He patted the seat. "This one is cool. You can sit here." He took Chloe by the elbows and sat her down.

Chloe found herself ensconced in the unneeded, albeit cooler, chair. "I really don't want to sit down, Lionel."

Lionel's eyebrows furrowed. She watched her daughter-in-law leave the very expensive seat. "Do you not feel the backaches go away?"

"I don't have any-"

She was interrupted when Lionel picked up his phone and started dialing. "I'm going to have a talk with your manager. I was told that the furniture I ordered is pregnancy-friendly. My daughter-in-law does not find your-"

Chloe snatched the phone from Lionel and turned it off. "The furniture is fine. I just don't feel like sitting!"

He took a deep, steadying breath. "Chloe, you have to sit down."

"My ass is growing mold," she snarked.

Lionel closed his eyes, forcing any stray image away from his brain. He had done this job before. Talking to a pregnant woman was something a man should go through only with one woman. He had done his part with Lillian. Lex should be going through this one. Suddenly, a bulb lit in his head and Lionel brightened. Since Lex finally did something good and married someone Lionel can live with and not hit his head in the process due to witless drivel, he would exert all the effort he could. He liked his daughter-in- law. "Walk!" he exclaimed.

"What?" she asked blankly.

"You need to walk," Lionel informed her. "Pregnant women rest or walk." He took Chloe's wrist and led her out of the room. They walked down the corridor, with his arm wrapped around the small of her back in support. "Okay, Chloe, we're by the stairs now. Watch your step, watch your step."

Chloe groaned and gently extricated herself from Lionel. "I can walk by myself! And who said I wanted to walk."

"It keeps you from being restless, and aids your metabolism, so your muscles don't cramp up," Lionel recited, straight from the mouth of the doctor he hired a month ago to tell him all about pregnancy. He tried to hold her again, but Chloe glared at him. "Lionel Luthor, if you escort me around like I were a blind woman, I swear you will not be recognized as grandfather," she warned.

"You might not see the stairs."

"I'm five months pregnant!" she yelled. "I don't have a stomach protruding so much that I am a cow who can't see her feet." Chloe's words trailed off and her eyes widened. "Am I cow?" she gasped.

"NO!" Lionel cried out at once.

Chloe blinked and fearfully glanced down. "I can still see my toes," she whispered.

"Of course you can, my dear. I was being a senile old man."

The admission seemed to make her happy, so Chloe grinned and skipped the way down the stairs. Lionel almost drew blood with the way he dug his nails into his palm as she watched her merry descent.

Lionel shook his head and went in search of his son. After telling him the news earlier, Lex had decided that he needed to lie down and not go to work at all. Lionel could not blame him. Lex and Chloe's recent visit to the doctor had made Lionel the paranoid wreck he had become. Much more so with Lex, he supposed.

His energetic wife downstairs, probably eating everything she could get her hands on, Lex Luthor remained inside his room, lying on the center of the bed. Lionel pushed the door open and saw his son, unmoving, staring at the ceiling.


Lex remained very silent.

Lionel sighed and walked over to his son. It appeared like he was going to have to be a father now. He was a provider, always had been. But Lionel knew nothing about actually being fatherly. He sat on the bed and still Lex did not move. "Don't be a ninny," Lionel pronounced.

Lex blinked.

"Are you having a panic attack?"

Lex moistened his lips. "Did Chloe notice?"

"Judging by the way Chloe hopped down the stairs, I'd say it hasn't registered to her yet that her husband is a ninny. She does seem to think that her father-in-law has gone insane."

Lex finally moved. His head bobbed once in a curt nod. "Well it's our turn. She's had five months of acting crazy."

"Technically, she deserves the crazy card in this one too because this development will affect her more."

Again, Lex's stringent nod. "That's why while it hasn't really sunk into her head yet, I'm taking the time to freak out. I'll have to console her later when it dawns on her."

"Good thinking, son."

"Think I have a good hour of panic left?"

Lionel smirked. "The Luthors are not that lucky, son."

The bedroom door swung open. Lionel turned. Lex sat up. Chloe stood there looking green and wide-eyed. "Oh my God," she whispered. She tremulously held up the black and white digital picture. "Lex, there are two hearts here."

Lionel and Lex waited. They watched Chloe's expression as terrified became more terrified.

Lex took a deep breath. That hour was wishful thinking anyway. "Come here, Chloe," he said soothingly.

Instead of walking to him tearfully, Chloe strode over and hit him on the head with the picture. "You're making me give birth to two kids?!"

"You were hap-"

"Two big heads, Lex? Two?!"

Lex saw his father slip from the room surreptitiously. [I]That coward.[/I] "Chloe. I love you," he assured her. "And any pain you feel, I'll feel twice. Right here." He touched his chest. He prepared himself for another bout of being hit when he realized that he compared imaginary, emotional pain to expelling two human beings from her. ummm. body.

The flames of panic and fury dimmed and Chloe sat on the bed. Chloe wrapped her arms around him and allowed him to draw her closer to him. "We're having twins."

"Yes, we are," he agreed.

"Wow," she said.

Lex smiled and murmured, "Wow indeed."