Disclaimer: Based on characters and situations owned and / or created by DC Comics, Warner Bros., Pictures, Richard Donner, Brian Singer, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Siegal, Schuster, Kane, Speakfire, et al. I make no money from this yet, though when I do I will gladly share with all who help make that day possible.
Lois woke up. It was still dark outside. Awareness crept in, Richard and Clark talking about someone named Rayner out on the West Coast. She felt sheets over her chest and her own pillow under her head.
She sat up, rubbed her eyes with her fists and looked around. She was surrounded by people: Richard, Jason, Diana, Clark, the other Amazon, Alfred, Bruce. Wait, track back. Clark and the other Amazon were holding hands. Clark wore no glasses. Clark's shirt was unbuttoned beneath his vest and tuxedo jacket. His bow-tie hung, untied, around his neck. Beneath his starched, white shirt was a deep red and dark yellow emblem in a field of blue. Wait, track back. Beneath Clark's starched white shirt was Superman's uniform in front of all these people.
"It's okay, Mommy. We're among friends. Trusted friends." Jason held her hand reassuringly.
"Could Jason's father and I have a moment?" Lois asked staring Clark straight in the eyes. "Yes, Smallville, you."
"Gadzooks, Mom, how tacky." Jason let go of her hand.
"You're the one who said they were trusted friends." No. Wait. Track back. My God. I said that. There's no way to take it back.
Alfred turned to Bruce, "Master Wayne, I think I should perhaps go and make some coffee for these fine people." Bruce nodded, and Alfred turned to go downstairs. Everyone else seemed frozen.
The other Amazon stared at Clark.
From the door Alfred asked, "Would Mr. White be so good as to show me to the coffee pot?"
Richard didn't seem to hear. He was completely focused on Lois.
Jason stood up and took Richard's hand and said loudly, "Dad, can I have some coffee with Mr. Alfred?" Everyone turned looked at Jason and Richard. Jason looked up into Richard's eyes with all the love and respect a six year old could display.
"Sure, son, as long as it's decaf. Let's go." Richard smiled back. Calm. Confident. Secure. Unflappable.
Jason turned back to Clark on the way out. "Father, we'll see you down staris."
Lois made shooing motions with her hands, "The rest of you too. Bruce, Diana, Chloe's twin, you guys all go on."
When they were alone, Lois sat up on the bed and turned to Clark, "And you were going to tell me when, exactly?"
Clark glanced at the clock on the wall. It was a few minutes past midnight. He pointed to his watch. "Today. I was going to tell you the day after you got the Pulitzer. Richard and Jason and I talked Tuesday. I wanted to you to have your moment in the spotlight when you got your Pulitzer. I didn't want this," gesturing with his hands he indicated the dialogue between them, the whole situation, "or that" looking back over his shoulder at her Pulitzer on a side table, "to overshadow each other. I …"
"Did you know when you left for Krypton? About Jason, I mean?" Tears welled in Lois's eyes and she spoke with hurt in her voice as though she felt abandoned all over again.
"No." His face twisted in agony. "I didn't know. Lois - -"
"For a guy who can see to the center of the earth and hear clouds scrape together, to not know that I was pregnant…that is a stretch."
"Lois, I didn't consciously know." His words came out slowly. He formed each one with great care, like he was cutting diamonds. "If I had known, I would have stayed. I would have been fragged emotionally, a complete wreck after killing Zod, but I would have stayed."
"Okay. I can accept that. I guess I have to." She wiped her eyes with her thumbs and the heels of her hands.
"And my memories?" Lois sniffled. "What happened to them?"
"I suppressed them hypnotically. But you had to keep them repressed after I was gone. I planted a post hypnotic suggestion that if every I was Dead, Dying or Gone, you should remember." Clark's words came out more fluidly now, though his face betrayed the emotional gut wrenching he felt inside.
"You look like you've got a big hunk green kryptonite hung around your neck."
"That's about what this feels like." A tear ran down Clark's cheek.
"So, what do we do now?" Lois extended a hand. Clark helped her up to a standing position.
"The three of us raise our son." Clark's face looked like a weight had lifted. "I'll want Diana and Batman to help me train him. But you and Richard and I have to raise him together."
"But how?" Lois looked genuinely perplexed.
"I had Dad and Jor-El, when I grew up." Gently, Clark tried to explain. "Bruce had Thomas Wayne and Alfred, when he grew up. Jason and Richard are getting the better end of the deal."
"How do you mean?"
"Richard still has his father and Perry, and a Jason will have Richard and me." Clark studied Lois's face. He decided she still didn't get it. "Jason and Richard have two living father figures. Bruce and I had one living and one dead."
"Oh. Silly me."
"No, you're just overwrought. Your brain isn't working in hyper-drive right now." Clark smiled warmly, genuinely.
"So, are we going down stairs, to have coffee with everyone?" Lois asked sleepily.
Clark cocked his head to one side and listened carefully, then looked down as though looking at fish through a glass bottomed boat. "They're all crashed out on the couches and chairs and even the floor."
Then he listened again. "I have to go. There was an unexplained phenomenon off the coast of California this afternoon. The Air Force and the Coast Guard have been dealing with it but I need to check into it as well."
"Will you be okay?" Lois looked concerned. The concern a woman feels for a brother, not a lover.
"I'll be fine. I have friends." Clark spun around like an ice skater and transformed into Superman.
"I know you have friends here, but…?" her face said he was being over confident.
"With just the friends in this house I could turn the world upside down or put it back to rights again. And surely you remember Oliver, Victor and AC?" Superman asked while opening the window.
"Green Arrow, Cyborg and Aquaman?" Lois chuckled. "How could I forget them? I named them."
"Ollie formed a Club or a League of Gentlemen, or something."
"Oh really?" Lois grabbed her tape recorder.
"Yeah, since I got back we all work together, sometimes." Clark smiled. "But I think I have a new guy to break in on this one. And he already has a call sign."
"Who gave it to him?" Lois looked like she smelled a story.
"His predecessor. It came with the ring." Clark replied cryptically
"I don't get it."
"Not to worry. You'll read about it on Saturday or Sunday. Do me a favor, please, Lois?" Superman asked standing in the window, now about to jump.
"Wake Richard and have him contact Kyle Rayner from the Planet's West Coast Bureau. I'll meet Rayner on the flight line at Edwards Air Force Base. See you soon." And with that he flew up, up and away.
Stay tuned to this web site my fellow Superman fans. The sequel to this story will be called Betrayal of Trust. It should start appearing in a week or two.