Lois snarled and slammed her phone down. "Goddamn Tobie Raines! This is not funny! Her and her warped-ass sense of humor… I swear, when we get back to Metropolis, I'm going to throttle her!"
I couldn't help chuckling at her. "She had to have tipped the driver," I supplied. "There's no other way she could know the exact moment we arrived here." That had ruined our plans to take advantage of the privacy of our spacious honeymoon suite as soon as we got settled in. Lois was furious now, and the calls had evaporated the romantic mood brought on by the champagne and chocolates Lana stashed in the limo.
"Yes, well, I don't exactly appreciate being called every five minutes on my wedding night," Lois spat, raking her hands through her hair. The tiara lay on the bedside table, and her gorgeous raven curls fell freely down her back. In spite of – or maybe because of – her anger, she was beautiful to me, and I smiled warmly.
The room phone rang, and Lois stalked over to pick it up. "Grand Central Station, what the hell is your problem? … Hi, Mom. Yeah, we made it in… The girls have been playing tricks… Oh, would you? Thanks so much! Here, let me get you their numbers… No, Lucy wasn't in on it. Just Tobie, Cat, and Loueen. I'm sure a few calls from you and Martha will settle them down." She laughed nastily, reading out her friends' phone numbers to her mother.
I just shook my head slightly; Lois and her friends had always been a handful, and if they sometimes seemed more like enemies than friends, well, you had to be around when one of them was hurt or in need. The others would close ranks against all outsiders and stubbornly defend each other … until the status quo returned, and then they'd be back to squabbling again. I knew better than to get involved in the current war over the harassment-by-phone. It was best just to stay here on the bed while Lois and her formidable mom handled the situation.
After hanging up with Ella, Lois sighed heavily and raked her hands through her hair one more time, dislodging still more rice. "God," she sighed. "I can't stand this! That's it, I'm taking a shower. Clark…"
I picked up the remote and smiled at her. "It's all right, there's a Royals game on tonight."
She rolled her eyes. "A long shower. Freakin' baseball…"
I laughed softly as she snatched up her bag and headed into the bathroom, unzipping the back of the reception gown on the way. Taking a moment to admire the view, I resolutely looked away and turned on the game. She needed a moment to calm down after getting so upset, and I was willing to give it to her.
All of this was still hard to believe; here I was, with Lois Lane, on our honeymoon. We'd pretended to be married on more than one assignment, including that memorable trip to Niagara while posing as newlyweds, but this time was for real. Lois was finally, really, mine, and so were the twins. Our children – the phrase still sent shivers down my spine. In spite of everything fate could throw at us, we were finally getting our happy ending.
I listened for the twins; I'd gotten much better at picking up on their heartbeats quickly. Luthor would never be able to kidnap them so easily – assuming he was still alive, which I privately hoped he wasn't. Shoving that dark thought aside, I tuned my hearing toward Metropolis…
The twins, giggling. And then, "Where did that come from?" Lana's voice, followed shortly by Richard's. "Nowhere." Jason and Kala laughed again as he prompted, "Mommy had this stuff in the fridge when we got here, right, you two?"
Lana wasn't having any of it. "Richard, you raided the reception buffet! I can't believe you! That's so … so…"
"Hey, this is good stuff. I wasn't going to let it go to waste," he protested.
Just then, Jason piped up with, "We got three slices of weddin' cake, too! One of each kind!"
I chuckled as Lana groaned at them. "The worst part is, all of the leftovers were boxed up and split amongst everyone who helped with the wedding. Which means we have a whole box of this stuff that I already put away."
Richard and the twins, far from being ashamed, cheered openly. I couldn't help sympathizing with them, and briefly checked on the rest of the family. Most of them were asleep; Ma and Ben were staying with Ella, and they had all turned in for the night. Everyone else was either in bed or on their way there, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
How strange it felt to suddenly have a family, and a large one at that. For years it had been just me and Ma. Even when I dreamed of a seemingly impossible future, I had never thought further than marrying Lois. Children were out of the question; we're from different galaxies. I had no right to expect children…
And I hadn't realized that by loving Lois, I would acquire her family as my own. Ella was one more person to guard my secret, and seeing the developing friendship between her and Ma warmed my heart. Lucy and Ron and their children had always loved me, and I cherished that now – no one could ask for better in-laws or more wonderful nieces and nephew.
Perry and Loueen were family of a sort as well; that dance between him and Ella acknowledged it. He had been Lois' father in all but blood, and seeing him smiling proudly at us both was a moment I would never forget. Though on the topic of family I never expected to have, Richard and Lana were certainly the biggest surprise. He had gone from my rival to something like a brother, and she – while still one of the loveliest women I'd ever laid eyes on – was more my best friend than my old flame. And I love that. It's the best of all possible endings.
I was barely paying attention to the game, not even following the score while these thoughts tumbled around inside my mind. And then the bathroom door opened, and Lois stepped out shyly. I turned to glance at her…
Lois had changed into something I'd never seen her wear; this corset and hose must've been purchased especially for this night. With her hair damp and lying over her pale bare shoulders, she was a vision of loveliness that made my heart catch in my throat. Every thought skidded to a halt, but one:
This is my wife. My wife. Mine, now and forever.
While I stared speechlessly, she gave me a hesitant little smile. "Thought you'd be asleep by now," Lois whispered.
In answer, I picked up the remote and switched off the television, my eyes never leaving her. How one woman could be so incredibly beautiful and not realize it…
Lois laughed at the expression on my face, and rushed to my side. Incredibly, she was nervous after all this time! Her heartbeat raced, and I cupped the back of her neck to bring her face close to mine.
Finally, I managed to find words again. "I love you," I whispered, and kissed my wife.