See first post for disclaimer.
Rating: PG-13 (for mild language)
Spoilers: Set directly after 'Reunion'
AN/Summary: This is just something that was rolling around in my head and refused to go away. I thought it would be fun to play around with the pregnancy spoilers for this season. This is wayyyyy AU and should only run a few parts.
"I've got to go find her Mom," Clark persuaded his mother.
"I just don't like the idea of you going so far away when we don't even know if this girl can be trusted," Martha reasoned.
"She helped me get out of the Phantom Zone and she was Jor-El's assistant. Raya has the answers to so many of my questions. I can't just ignore that," Clark persisted.
"You're an adult Clark which means you'll do what you think is right." Martha took a deep breath, "But I'll always be your mother so no matter how old you get I will always worry about your safety."
"I'll be careful Mom; I promise. But I can't let this opportunity pass me by. I'll be back soon. The satellite images should lead me right to her."
"I'll see you soon then." Martha hugged her son.
Lois shook her head clear of meandering thoughts, forcing her focus to return to the stark room in which she sat.
"Sorry, what? I wasn't listening." She shot the woman in front of her a closed mouth smile and innocent shrug.
"Yeah, that's what I thought you said," Lois chuckled. "I think you've got the wrong room." Using her arms to propel, she popped up and off the examination table.
The female doctor pulled the chart from beneath her arm, glancing over the name on the file and the lab results. "Lois Lane. You were in for a physical three days ago."
Lois nodded along speculatively – she was waiting for the moment when the woman recognized her error.
"Cholesterol is great; iron's perfect; B12 is a little on the low side; pap test was clean with no signs of abnormal growth and," she drew out, "your pregnancy test was positive." She smiled at her incredulous patient.
Staring down the doctor, Lois tried to make sense of what she was telling her. Suddenly her face transformed by a knowing smirk on her lips and gleeful glint in her hazel eyes. "Okay, you got me." She crossed her arms over her chest. "Who put you up to this? Chloe?" She rolled her eyes. "That girl needs to work on her sense of humor."
The doctor blinked in confusion. "Miss Lane, I think there's been a misunderstanding." Her brow furrowed as she spared another glance at the file in front of her.
"Don't worry about it. My cousin can be very persuasive when she wants to be." Lois turned sideways to pick up her purse from the edge of the exam table.
"No, Miss Lane, I think the misunderstanding is yours. There's no joke. You're pregnant," she implored with direct eye contact.
Looking sky-ward Lois released a sigh, "Okay, now it's just getting old," she chastised. But the other woman didn't waiver in her position. "Let me see that." She reached out for the file, scouring the results herself.
The doctor watched her with raised eyebrows and lips quirked up in surprised interest.
"This isn't possible. The lab obviously screwed up," she huffed in annoyance, handing the file back to the doctor. "I should probably think about doing an expose on lab mistakes and the consequences." Once more she made a backward grab for her purse while contemplating the story thoughtfully.
"Miss Lane, the lab didn't make a mistake," the doctor reasoned, though she realized her assurances were doing little to sway the young woman. "If I may," her calm voice caused Lois' shoulders to tighten, "I think maybe we can get to the bottom of this." She paused for Lois to nod her consent. "Your file says that you've been sexually active; is that accurate?"
"Yes." Lois gritted her teeth.
"And are you currently in a relationship?" She asked gently.
Rolling her head in conjunction with her eyes, she responded, "Well, yes but-" she sputtered as the other woman looked on with disbelief. "Look, there is absolutely no way that I could possibly be pregnant. Oliver, the guy I'm currently in a relationship with, and I haven't even slept together. We've only been seeing each other for like a month."
The doctor appeared slightly moved by the conviction in her patient's tone. "Well, there's an easy way to find out if the test was a false positive."
"Alright, whatever it is, let's do it." Lois' demeanor shifted as some of the tension ebbed from her neck and back.
"Hop up on the table and lift up your shirt." She gestured to the paper covered table, hearing it crinkle as Lois sat back down on it. "And I'll get you to removed your belt and unbutton your pants for me." She turned her back as she fiddled with items in the far corner of the room.
Resting her fingers over the large square belt buckle, Lois questioned why she was bothering to go through the hassle the doctor insisted upon when she knew without a shadow of doubt that she was not pregnant. She and Oliver had not had sex as of yet – she was sure she would have remembered something like that. And even if they had, neither were stupid or naïve enough to do so without protection – considering the monumentally high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy was actually the thing she feared least about having sex. Anyway, they had only been out on a few dates in the short time they had known one another and most of them had been far more political than social.
As she methodically undid the belt buckle and drew it through the loops of her pants a startling thought flittered through her mind: for all the attractiveness of her boyfriend, she had rarely entertained any erotic or lustful fantasies of the two of them. A lightening quick inventory of their dates was even more confusing; any physical contact they had shared was minimal and far more chaste than she would have anticipated for a month long courtship.
She released a mental groan at her own internal dialogue; a silent curse was issued at the change her consciousness was undergoing due to the extended time she spent in Smallville. Three years prior and she wouldn't have even contemplated the combining of 'court' or 'ship' – stupid compound word.
Regardless of what she decided to call it, her relationship with Oliver was running at a snail's pace. Granted they were both busy people who seldom had a spare moment but they could make more of an effort to see each other. Oliver had left a message saying that he wanted to meet her for dinner and talk as soon as she was available – it was the perfect opening to discuss the direction they were going.
Her warm flesh was shocked by the icy dollop of gel. "Hey! A little warning next time will ya!" She exclaimed.
"Sorry about that. I did say it was going to be cold – I know it never really prepares you though," the doctor placated sweetly.
Lois was mollifying when she realized that she had been so deep in thought that the woman could have warned her without her knowledge. It also reminded her that she was doing all of this to see the look on the other woman's face when she concluded that Lois was not actually pregnant.
The scrub clad doctor rolled Lois pants down and did the same to her underwear, tucking a towel into the top edge to protect it from the blue gel. "Here we go."
The doctor pressed the conductor to her abdomen, warming the gel with the gentle friction from the metal against her smooth skin. Stepping back, the doctor revealed the monitor of grainy black and white rocking shapes. The sounds being amplified from within her body were threatening to tip the scale on Lois' impatience, urging her to cut through the heavy communication barrier dissecting the room.
"I know you probably hear it all the time and I respect your position but being pregnant just isn't a poss-" Lois was interrupted by the doctor.
"Ah, there's our little stowaway." She paused in her movements of the wand on Lois stomach, focusing on the obtuse image. "Well based on the image and your levels of HCG, I'd put you at about seven or eight weeks." She stopped the feed to the monitor, leaving a still picture on the screen. "See that little gray blob on the left?" She pointed at the picture. "That right there is why your pregnancy test came back positive." She smiled softly as Lois nodded.
"So what is it?" Lois asked with wide eyed wonder.
Frowning, the doctor took a long hard look at her patient then chuckled. "It's a fetus Miss Lane," she told her but saw that the message still hadn't hit home. Placing the ultrasound wand back into its holder on the machine, she dropped a caring hand on the young woman's shoulder. "It means you're going to have a baby. Lois, the test wasn't wrong; you're pregnant."
Lois didn't move under the pressure of the doctor's hand, eyes open to unfathomable proportions and her mouth lagging. In an attempt to pull her from her shock induced stupor, the doctor began trying to engage her in conversation.
"We'll be able to get a better idea of your due date if you can tell what the date of your last menstrual cycle was."
Finally Lois blinked, the doctor's words having invaded her consciousness. "Menstrual cycle?" She frowned then suddenly sighed in relief and dropped her head back down to the bed. "Two weeks ago. So obviously I'm not pregnant," she reiterated.
Turning to glance at the sonogram machine, the doctor raised her eyebrows. "Was your period lighter than normal by any chance?" She kept her hand on Lois' shoulder, hoping it was keeping her calm.
Brow furrowed, she took her time answering. "I guess it was a little light," she admitted.
"How long did it last?"
"A couple days," she replied slowly.
"A couple, like two or five?" The doctor persisted.
"Two," Lois' succinct response drew another smile from the doctor.
"That's not uncommon in the early stages of pregnancy. We should keep an eye on it if it persists but for now I'd say you're pretty healthy. I'm going to prescribe you some B12 pills and prenatal vitamins. I'd like to get you back here in a month for a prenatal check-up and another blood test to make sure we get your B12 up in a healthy rang. You're probably going to need all the energy you can get." She smiled again and began wiping Lois' stomach clean.
"This isn't happening," Lois whispered as though in pain.
Sensing her patient's distress, the doctor pulled down her shirt and sat by the exam table. "Lois," she called gently to get the woman's attention, "I understand that this wasn't planned but I want you to take a deep breath and try to relax." Surprisingly Lois did just that. "Now, you're going to have to make some decisions; none of them have to be made right away so you have plenty of time to think all this through. I know you're feeling overwhelmed right now but you do have options."
Lois nodded along with the woman, finding her voice in the aftermath of turmoil. "No offense but I want a second opinion."
The resonance created by thousands of different sounds coming together to the point where one was undistinguishable from another. It was what Lois equated with her brain's current level of hyperactivity. She resided in a state of mechanical movements – making her way from the medical center to the back entrance of the Talon before she was even aware she had stepped into her car.
She had ended up spending her entire afternoon at the hospital, seeing one doctor after another in an effort to seek out any kind of explanation. Unfortunately, after undergoing the same procedures with three general practitioners and two OB/GYNs she had more questions than answers.
Eight weeks prior she hadn't known Oliver and she hadn't been dating anyone else. She had been so consumed with learning the ins and outs of political life that she had foregone any opportunity to meet men. And then she was too busy recovering from injuries sustained in the plane crash that she didn't…
The plane crash coincided with the date of….the date the doctors had given her. What had occurred between then and now that could have resulted in…conception. The last word was accompanied by a wince; the sting of its implications only amplifying over time.
Palming her keys, Lois made a dash for the stairs in an attempt to avoid the small talk of the locals. She got lucky as two of the newer girls were working whom she wasn't familiar with and the customers were sparse due to the approaching dinner hour. With the relative safe haven of her apartment in site, she charged up the stairs.
"Welcome home roomie," Chloe deadpanned as soon as Lois had one foot in the door.
Surprised at hearing someone inside the apartment, Lois shot her gaze up.
"What? Forget I was staying here?" Chloe teased, her laptop propped up on her crossed legs.
"No," she hastened to assure her though it was a lie. "I just thought you'd be in Metropolis right now." Lois turned to close the door slowly, using the time to center herself, tamping down the myriad of emotions the afternoon had left churning in her.
Chloe barked out a short laugh. "Nope, you're the one whose boyfriend owns an entire building in Metropolis that you could stay at; Jimmy's still living with his parents while he's in school."
Lois blinked at the snide undercurrent, methodically placing her purse and jacket by the door.
"Right." Lois wondered if she wasn't imagining the tone. "You and Jimmy have been seeing each other for a while and I still haven't met him."
"You've been a little preoccupied, what with your most recent foray into the world of journalism and all of the social commitments that go along with being the woman on the arm of Queen Industries' CEO." She quirked an eyebrow from her place on the couch.
"Yeah, I guess I have." Lois made her way into the kitchen for a bottle of water. She was hoping the drink would give her something other than her recent news to focus on. "You should invite Jimmy over here sometime. I'd love to meet the guy that's captured your attention," she spoke into the refrigerator and took a few extra seconds for a deep breath before closing the appliance door and facing Chloe again.
The blonde chuckled sarcastically. "I don't know Lois; you're liable to be disappointed. He's no Oliver Queen."
That final comment took Lois aback and she froze in the midst of taking a drink from the water bottle. "Is he a nice guy?" She asked, to which Chloe frowned.
"Yeah of course!"
"And does he treat you well?" Lois queried simply.
"Sure." Chloe's frown worked itself deeper into her forehead.
"Then why would I be disappointed?" She wondered, truly baffled.
Chloe shrugged, not supplying a response to that one. "I'll tell him he should stop by," Chloe agreed, eyeing her cousin carefully. "Are you okay? You seem distracted or something."
Lois sighed, capping her water and placing the heel of her hands on the countertop. She needed to talk to someone about what was happening and there was no better person than her cousin.
"Actually I-" Chloe interrupted her.
"If this is about your Green Arrow I don't want to know. Ever since you started obsessing about that guy you've been in one bizarre situation after the next and after what happened on Dark Thursday, I've reached my bizarre quota for a while."
Lois stared at Chloe for an extended moment once she was done. "Investigating," she finally spoke softly.
"What?" Chloe said over her shoulder as she reached for the file with the satellite images Oliver had given her.
"Investigating," Lois repeated. "You said 'obsessing about the Green Arrow' but I've been investigating him. And wasn't it you who told me that one of the best parts about reporting was the feeling of not being able to walk away until you have the whole story?"
"Right, I forgot – you're a reporter now." Chloe smiled as though there was a joke somewhere in the depths of the phrase. A joke Lois felt she was obviously missing.
Shaking off the feeling that Chloe was saying more than the surface of her words would imply, she came around the counter to continue their conversation. "Something big did happen to me today. It's kinda got me freaked out and totally confused."
"What, did the Green Arrow try to kidnap you again? Or did Big Foot walk right into the Inquisitor's office?" Chloe laughed.
Narrowing her eyes at the shorter blonde, Lois bit her tongue for fear of saying something to Chloe she would later regret. "No," was the response she finally settled for.
In that moment Lois was no longer comfortable sharing her troubles with her cousin. She felt a distance between them that she had never experienced and that no geographical separation had accomplished before. She wasn't sure when or how it happened but somewhere over the previous few months Chloe had been pulling back; perhaps she had been doing the same and hadn't noticed. Whatever the damage Lois knew it wasn't irreparable but it also was not something she felt confident in dealing with at that point.
"Oh, it's really nothing – Oliver left me a message about getting together and having a talk about something. It just has me worried. It's dumb," she shrugged.
"He probably wants to take you to Tuscany or something. If he's smart he'll upgrade from Cancun considering you turned him down," she smirked.
"Yeah," Lois agreed with non-committal enthusiasm. "Actually I just stopped in to grab some files I've got to take to Mrs. Kent." Lois sprung up with shocking speed, needing to get as far from her apartment and its company as possible. So much for a safe haven.
"Bye," Chloe called from the couch as Lois darted out the door.
The flat two lane highway stretched out before Lois in her bid to get as far from humanity as possible. Her hands stung at the points her nails dug into them as she gripped the steering wheel aggressively. Half moons tattooed an angry pattern on her palms but she only clutched the tube of leather tighter.
"What the hell is happening to me?"
She let the question float into the quiet shelter of steel as she checked for the answer in the rear-view mirror. The ringing of her phone thrust her attention back to the physical world causing her to reach for it instinctively and answer.
"Hey, you're a hard woman to track down." Oliver's teasing voice flooded the line. "I tried your apartment but your cousin said you'd just left."
Biting the inside of her cheek, Lois fought the emotion threatening at the surface of her carefully constructed façade. "Yeah, I have a couple errands to run," she forced some false assurance into her tone, praying he wouldn't notice the difference.
"Did you get my message?" He smiled around the question, allowing her to hear it on the other end.
"I did." She stopped at a stop sign and switched the cell phone from one hand to the other. "You said you wanted to talk about something."
"Yeah, just thought we could do with some more time getting to know each other," he hedged. "Although we may have to discuss what exactly you've been telling your cousin about me because after meeting her yesterday I have a feeling whatever it is, it would interest me," he teased. "She gave me a look I don't think I've ever seen before."
"It was probably her suspicious new person look. She tends to think everyone's got an angle; it's why she's such a great reporter," Lois explained, distracted by her stormy thoughts and keeping control of the car.
"So how does tonight sound? I can have a driver there to pick you up in an hour – or later if you want more time," he promised.
"Pick me up for what?" Lois made a turn without thinking too much about it.
"Dinner tonight?" Oliver elaborated for her, though his tone had a hint of confusion.
"I'd love to but I can't tonight." She sighed. "Something came up that I have to deal with so I'm going to be busy most of the week but call me later, okay." She brushed him off unapologetically.
"I was really hoping we could-"
"Yeah, me too," Lois cut him off. "But right now's not the best time. I've gotta go. I'll talk to you later." She didn't wait for a response from him before snapping her phone shut and putting her car in park.
Oliver was the last person she felt like dealing with. It didn't matter though, if she couldn't figure out what was going on in her body, Oliver Queen wasn't likely to be around much longer.
Hauling her briefcase off the passenger seat, she lethargically lifted herself from the vehicle to walk toward the yellow farm house. She had not had any original intent to go to the Kent's when she first set the car into drive but now that she was there, she knew it was where she needed to be. Once she reached the front porch, she pulled down on her fall jacket, brushed a hand over her face and pasted a smile on her lips.
Bouncing into the house, she found Mrs. Kent in the kitchen fixing tea. "Hey Mrs. Kent." Her smile didn't come close to reaching her eyes.
"Oh hi Lois." Martha Kent glanced sideways with a wide grin. "I wasn't expecting you tonight."
"Well, I um….thought you could do with the notes from the health care bill meetings last month. It's supposed to be a hot topic for discussion over the next few weeks." She made a show of pulling the documents from the briefcase and laying them on the counter.
"Thank you honey. But you didn't have to go to the trouble of bringing them over here tonight. I could have picked them up tomorrow. I'm sure you'd much rather spend an evening with Oliver than a stiff Senator," Martha joked.
"There's nothing stiff about you Mrs. Kent and I love spending time here." She shrugged. Suddenly she looked unsure, "But if you're busy…"
"Nope. Actually I'm not expecting Clark home for dinner tonight but I've got an entire meal made. I'd love it if you stayed and ate with me." Martha extended the invite, sensing Lois could do with the company or the ear to bend.
Relief suffused Lois' face. "Thanks Mrs. Kent. That would be great. Is there anything I can do to help?" She asked once she was divested of her jacket.
"Dinner's made but if you'd like, the table still needs to be set." Martha's watched the Lois pulled the plates from the cupboard and cutlery with veiled interest. The young woman seemed as though she was fighting to spool her wiry energy to the point of physical impairment. Her movements were slower than normal and more deliberate – every so often she would close her eyes and swallow.
Dinner passed by with Martha listening as Lois talked at rapid fire pace on every topic on conceivable importance to the cabinet of senators. As passionately as she disseminated of the information, she neglected to eat much of her meal, choosing to push the food around on her plate instead. From her years of parenting Martha knew that Lois was using her job as a distraction from whatever was rattling her nerves and though she appreciated the briefing her chief of staff was giving her, she felt compelled to stop her and sort out her problem.
"Did you not like the food Honey, you barely touched it." Martha rested her hand on Lois' forearm while the younger woman looked down at her full plate.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Kent; the food was great as always I just didn't have much of an appetite I guess." Lois cast a sheepish smile her way.
"Well how about some tea then." Martha smiled to reassure her.
Lois nodded and Martha rose to attend to the tea. "You know if you keep taking such good care of me, you'll be stuck with me forever," she jested.
"That's what I hoping for." Martha winked at her over her shoulder. "Why don't you take the notes in the living room and I'll bring the tea."
"Gotcha." Lois took the plates to the sink then picked up the notes. "There's really only one other item to look at but I think it's going to be a big issue. I pulled everything I could find on the current debate over stem cell research and considering the research push going on in other countries, it's prime for a debate here." She called from the living room. "Did you know that Italy has had a stem cell bank for over five years already? You wouldn't think so cause of their strong ties to the church and the Vatican on their doorstep." Martha appeared in the room, depositing two mugs on the table. "I mean even in our country, despite the lack of research and funding thousands of people have already begun freezing stem cells after they give birth."
Interestingly enough, Martha watched as Lois' eyes closed a beat longer than usual and swallowed what appeared to be the tiny amount of food that she had ingested. "Honey, are you feeling alright?" Again she laid her hand on Lois forearm.
There was a stretch of silence as Lois looked out across the room until her anxiety and fear bubbled to the surface and she clutched Martha's hand tightly. "Have you ever learned something – something that you know can't be true….but….but it is? You have no idea how it happened or why but it's going to change your life completely."
A memory of finding Clark staring at them from outside their upturned truck fluttered through her mind, lighting a flame of empathy for Lois. She wished she had the opportunity to share the experience with the woman next to her on the couch and tell her how closely she identified with that feeling. But she couldn't and it worried her that Lois could have encountered anything of such magnitude.
"Lois, what's happened? Whatever it is, it can't be too bad." Martha replied optimistically as much for her sake as Lois'. Next to her sat the woman she considered a daughter; someone who had bombarded her heart and insinuated herself there so quickly and effortlessly that it hurt to think of a time when she wasn't in her life.
"But it is." Tears sheathed her eyes, emphasizing the colour to a startling green brilliance. She began to shake with repressed sobs, the vibrations sending the salty drops coursing down her cheeks.
"Oh Honey." Martha pulled her into her arms, hearing a high pitched intake of breath where Lois had pressed her face into Martha's shoulder. "You can tell what's wrong. Oh Sweetheart." She bit her lip and stymied her own rush of emotion at seeing her strong girl fall to pieces.
"Impegnt." Lois mumbled between the hitches of breath against her sweater.
"What was that Honey? I didn't hear you." Martha pulled back to take Lois face in her hands, brushing her hair back from her face.
Lois looked down at her lap, avoiding Martha's stare. "I'm pregnant," she admitted in hushed tones.
Martha had to strain to hear her, but hear her she did. Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open, floundering for something to say. Time stood still for several long moments before Martha once more pulled Lois to her, feeling the tears continue to soak through her clothes. "Oh Lois," she sighed, heartbroken at seeing her so beside herself. "I didn't even realize that you and Oliver…" she left the thought hanging.
Lois drew back enough to look at Martha with red rimmed eyes. "That's just it. We haven't. I haven't been with anyone for a long time and the doctors say that – that I'm eight weeks pregnant." She hiccupped, swiping at the tears. "I hadn't even met Oliver then. I was in the hospital and could barely move. It doesn't make any sense. I can't be pregnant but I am." Her face contorted and the tears came harder. "I know it sounds crazy and you probably don't believe me but I-"
"I believe you Lois," Martha rushed to assure her. "I believe you." She pulled her back into her arms so that Lois wouldn't see the lone tear escape down Martha's face. Again she wished she could share an experience with her girl; an experience of a miraculous pregnancy and all it entailed. There was a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach as she concluded that whatever happened to Lois, her son's biological father had likely been involve. "We'll figure this out Sweetheart. Don't you worry."
Please R&R if you get the chance.