AN: I didn't intend to write an epilogue at the beginning but this kind of came to me….so here it is. Thank you to everyone who has been reading and especially those who took the time to review.
Clark was hunched over in one of the plastic chairs of the hospital waiting area, his knee bouncing erratically with an abundance of nervous energy. It had been just over two months since finding out about the baby – but it felt like a lifetime….and a whirlwind. For weeks after Raya's death, Lois had been subdued, worrying Clark. But one evening after work, she accompanied Martha home for dinner and like a switch had been flicked, was her joking, gregarious self. It was a night Clark would never forget; he had never entertained the possibility that a joke at the expense of his wardrobe would flood him with such relief.
Their relationship was another matter entirely. They talked more; doing their best to make plans and anticipate situations they would face in the coming months and years. All necessary changes for the baby they had both come to care so much about. But since the day in the barn when Lois had unexpectedly reached over and kissed him, things had changed beyond baby preparations. Their kisses, having grown in frequency, became a form of one-upmanship. Their talking turned to arguing and inevitably ended up with them making out. There were no dates, no commitments to one another, at least not yet, only the baby.
Out of respect and gratitude for Raya Clark had begun visiting the Fortress with frequency. The knowledge of the entire planet had been imprinted on crystals meant only or him; they were slowly but surely educating him on where he came from. Raya had proven to him that there was more to the people of Krypton than Jor-El had thus far shown. He had also received a not so gentle push from Lois to learn more about his heritage as it would be their son's as well.
Elbows jutting into the tops of his knees and hands cradling his chin, he watched the goings on in the hospital corridor with forced interest. Next to him an exam door opened but his eyes were turned down the other end of the hall as he fidgeted.
He bolted upright and faced the startling voice, "Lana!" His eyes widened as he caught slight of who accompanied her. "Lex," his brow furrowed at the state of the latter.
"Why am I not surprised to see you outside Lana's hospital room Clark?" Lex smirked.
"What happened?" Clark ignored the taunt, nodding to the cut on Lana's head and sling hung shoulder.
"You mean you don't know? Aren't you usually the first on the scene of any suspicious activity around here Clark?" Lex placed his arm around Lana in a territorial show.
"We had a break in at the Mansion," Lana answered. She shook her head sadly at Clark. "I'm fine Clark. This has to stop; you can't be showing up hoping to solve all my problems. If I need help, I have Lex. You broke up with me Clark; I've moved on," she huffed in annoyance.
Clark was so stunned at the double barreled barrage from the couple that he hadn't been able to form a thought to fire back with.
"This is getting ridiculous Clark; if I have to I'll get a restraining order," Lex threatened.
"I-" he started to defend himself.
"Lex and I might be having a baby," Lana suddenly blurted out. Even she appeared surprised by the announcement. "This isn't high school any longer Clark; Lex and I are happy," she shifted closer to the billionaire. Her eyes darken as she said a silent prayer for a negative pregnancy test – she was beginning to see the drawbacks to being tied to a Luthor long term.
"The doctor's running the blood work now," Lex smiled with a gleam of superiority and looked down lovingly at Lana.
"I guess," Clark cleared his throat and swallowed, "Con – congratu-"
The door down the hall marked 'restroom' opened with a bang, interrupting Clark. Lois appeared a second later; her face telling a story of annoyance. Clark turned his back to Lana and Lex, succeeding in obscuring them from view with his broad shoulders as he watched Lois' fast paced approach.
"It's not enough that they make me drink a few gallons of water….nooooo, 'cause then they make me wait around in agony for a while." She tossed her bangs out of her eyes as soon as she had stopped in from of Clark. "Is this some sort of hazing ritual into motherhood no one's told me about?"
"Lois?" Lana's eyebrows rose high on her forehead. She hadn't seen Lois in months, though being holed away in the Luthor mansion meant she hadn't seen many people for a while.
"Lana," Lois tried to keep her grimace at bay but found it exceedingly difficult when Clark moved to the side to reveal the pair, "…and Lex." She shot Clark a look of desperation.
"They haven't called us yet," he told her with sympathetic eyes.
"Great," she muttered under her breath. "Wow Lana, what the hell happened to you?"
Lex bristled at her brashness while Lana just pursed her lips and responded, "We had a break in at the Mansion."
"Ouch," Lois winced at the injuries then turned her attention to Lex. "Looks like you faired better," her tone was dry and accusatory.
"Lex was at a morning meeting – he didn't get home until security had the situation under control," Lana defended.
Lois bit her tongue to keep from commenting.
Not wanting to be outdone, Lex shot back, "Afternoons must be pretty slow if you're tagging along with Clark to check up on my girlfriend."
"That's funny, I thought we were here for our appointment," Lois feigned confusion.
"Yours?" Lana frowned.
With timing so perfect Lois could have kissed the woman, the nurse appeared a few feet away. "Lois and Clark," she read off the chart and glanced up to see the familiar faces from check–in, "we're ready for you."
In the biting spirit of the conversation, Clark placed his hand on Lois' back and smiled with honest enthusiasm, "It's our first sonogram." It was out of character for him to bate Lex but he wasn't about to let the other man ruin his day.
"Our?" Lois quirked an eyebrow. "I didn't see you drinking until your bladder felt like it was going to burst Smallville."
Lana and Lex turned their respective gazes toward Lois' abdomen. Her corduroy jacket gaped open to reveal the obvious swell under her t-shirt; the bump may not have been noticed in passing but under the scrutiny of both pairs of eyes the evidence was clear.
"You're pregnant!" Lana exclaimed.
Smiling in response, Lois smoothed her shirt over her stomach, "Yep, just over four months now."
"Lana and Lex were just telling me they think Lana might be pregnant; they're waiting on the blood test," Clark informed her with a sideways look.
"Oh well, I hope the results are everything you want them to be," Lois held Lana's eye knowingly. They weren't friends but Lois wouldn't wish a life with the Luthors on anyone.
"Oliver wasted no time running in the other direction when he found out," Lex cut in crudely.
Behind her back, Lois could feel Clark's fist tightening. "Actually the baby's mine," he stated with a dangerous air.
Lana gaped but Lex wasn't as dumbstruck.
"Always so noble Clark, even when it's not in your best interest. You're not fooling anyone with this ploy, no one 's going to believe that Lois is having your baby," he laughed for good measure, "I guess some guys just can't be trapped right Lois."
Lois could see the calm roll over Clark, indicating a storm was coming fast. She grabbed his hand, pulling him in the direction of their exam room. "It's been a blast talking to you, we'd talk more but if I don't get the sonogram soon I'm going to explode" Lois tugged a little harder to get him to stop boring holes in Lex's head, "hope you're feeling better Lana." Clark's feet were finally moving when he heard her whisper, "Hope you get your head out of your ass Lex." As she tugged him along beside her into the exam room, she glanced back at the couple over her shoulder, "Am I the only one who thinks it's really weird that Lex calls his home 'the mansion' - I mean, come on, who does that?"
"Why didn't you let me tell Lex he was wrong? I can't believe what he implied about you. I can't believe you wouldn't let me defend ourselves," he was reeling from Lex's well aimed remark.
"What's the point?" Lois asked him once they were in the exam room. "He's going to believe what he wants to believe. Anyway, I have a feeling this kid's going to be born with a head full of raven locks so they'll figure it out eventually. You're all riled up and liable to say something you'll later regret because you're a nice guy." She watched as the tension that had been coiled in Clark's shoulders ebbed away. "Now, I'm more interested in seeing our son for the first time than arguing with Smallville's couple voted most likely to go delinquent."
Lois dropped her jacket over the back of one of the room chairs. "And Lana may not be my favourite person but she doesn't deserve to find out in a hospital hallway that her ex is having a baby with someone else."
"I don't think Lana cares that much about what I do Lois, just so long as I'm not doing it near her," Clark watched with growing anxiety as Lois unbuckled her belt.
"Are you kidding me Smallville!" She stared at him incredulously. "Didn't you see the relief on the girl's face when Lex mentioned Oliver? At least she gets a little time to digest the possibility before knowing for sure." It was kind of liberating knowing she could talk to him about Lana and not worry if he was pining over her. Their conversation in the car two months prior had opened up a world of possibilities for the two of them – possibilities Lois was finding herself exceedingly interested in exploring.
"She had just finished telling me that she and Lex might be having a baby and to stop bothering her," Clark countered.
Toeing off her shoes she smiled, "Oh Smallville, she was playing you. She wanted you to be jealous because she wants to know that you still want her. If she doesn't know what kind of man Lex is yet, she will eventually and when she does, she'll be looking for you," she shrugged.
Clark shifted uncomfortably at the thought and grimaced slightly. Lois chuckled at the grimace and pulled her shirt over her head.
"Wh-what are you doing?" He blushed but kept staring at Lois' bra covered breasts.
"I'm putting on the hospital gown," she answered.
His pupils dilated as they registered the in light blue satin and lace garment, "I – I um…" he swallowed noisily.
"Seriously Smallville," Lois shook her head in amusement as she pulled her pants down to display matching panties, "as much as I hate to admit it, you've seen me naked and I wear almost the same to the beach." She donned the gown and in a final act of preparation, striped herself of her panties beneath the cloth drape.
"You're teasing me," he finally pulled his eyes away from her body long enough to catch the glint in her hazel eyes.
"You're just figuring that out now," she smiled brightly. "And I didn't see you making any gallant gestures, like turning around while I changed," the smiled transformed into a smirk.
"You caught me off guard!" He protested, his blush deepened to a bright red.
"Calm down Clark," she waved him off and hopped up on the exam table. "It's nice to know that my body's still good for more than our child's current habitat. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love that I get to carry him but I'm already beginning to look round." She flattened the gown over her midsection, showing off the bump, "But hey, on the bright side my boobs are bigger," she shrugged.
Clark gave a strangled squeak and wide eyes immediately went to the aforementioned body parts, "Lois I – I don't think – I mean you," he run a hand through his hair in frustration, "you're gorgeous. I don't think you could ever be….not….gorgeous," he ended awkwardly.
The doctor arrived before Lois could respond.
"Hello again Lois."
Lois groaned so only Clark could hear her. By luck of the draw, it was the same doctor who'd confirmed her pregnancy. The woman had a subtle air of satisfaction to her but didn't comment on the events from months before.
"And you must be," she double checked the chart, "Clark."
"Nice to meet you," he held out his hand for the doctor.
"So Lois, how've you been feeling lately?" She sat down on a stool and assumed what Lois liked to call the interrogation position.
"Good. A little tired at times," she motioned for Clark to sit.
"Has it caused you to change any of your routines?"
"Nope, sometimes I'll catch a nap or go to bed a little early but I'm exercising and eating the same."
"Are you taking your vitamins?"
"Yep, heavy on the foliate," she cast a sideways glance to Clark who was eagerly soaking up the information.
"Any more spotting?"
"How about movement? Any fluttering or rolling sensations?"
"Off and on. Mostly in the evenings."
"Alright then," the doctor closed the file and turned to the couple, "do either of you have any questions before we start?"
Sharing a quick look with Clark, Lois answered, "I think we're good."
"Okay Lois, if I could just get you to slide down here," she pointed to the stir-ups.
Rolling her eyes at what was coming, Lois did as the doctor asked. From beside her, she could hear Clark gulping and turned to find him a grimace firmly etched into his face.
"Maybe I should wait outside for this part," he finally petered out when the doctor rolled her stool between Lois' legs.
"Not a chance Clarkie," Lois reached down and grabbed his arm to keep him in place. "There are no free passes in this pregnancy." She ruffled his hair, "Buck up Smallville, it's just a vaginal exam."
Clark turned an interesting shade of red, "You're trying to traumatize me aren't you." His lips pursed in suspicion.
Lois quirked an eyebrow at him when the doctor laughed aloud at the conversation they were having. Wanting to take her mind off of the invasive procedure going on by her legs, Lois picked out a new topic to talk with Clark about.
"Chloe wants to start a scrapbook for Ryan," the animosity was clear.
"I though we weren't telling anyone the name until he's born," Clark argued.
"I didn't tell Chloe his name, she just said baby….I'm using Ryan," she huffed. "Anyway, as I was saying, she wants to start a scrapbook for him and give it to me when he's born to keep adding to."
"What's wrong with that?"
"Do I seem like the scrapbook type Clark?"
"So let Chloe keep it up and give it Ryan when he's old enough," he shrugged.
"Do you really want to leave Chloe in charge of recording the events of our lives for Ryan?" The look she leveled him with had Clark contemplating just what kind of stories Chloe would report to their child.
Clark groaned, "I see your point, but what do you want me to do about it?"
"Convince her not to,"
"You make it sound easy. You remember we're talking about Chloe right. And what makes you think I'll be able to convince her, you're her cousin."
"Yeah, but you've got those baby blues no one can resist," Lois countered.
"Really, no one?" A smile flirted at his lips.
"Everything looks good Lois; you're progressing perfectly for eighteen weeks. But I guess you two are here for the big finale," she snapped off her gloves. "You can scoot back up the bed and get comfortable."
The doctor draped a sheet over Lois' stomach and legs and then pulled up her gown beneath it. The little draping technique allowed her patients to keep some of their modesty in the exam.
"So do you guys know something I don't? You're referring to the baby as a 'he' already and even have a name picked out. It's going to be cold," she warned Lois before squeaking out a generous portion of contact gel on her abdomen. "Is it just wishful thinking on your part Dad?" She asked Clark.
The moniker floored him. In spite of all the plans they had been making and even deciding on what to deal with as it came; it hadn't crossed his mind that someone very soon would be calling him Dad. The revelation rocked him and he found himself grabbing Lois' hand in search of a grounding presence.
Seeing that he was unable to speak, Lois answered the doctor, "If there was anyone who just wanted a healthy baby it'd be Clark," she smiled at him. "As for knowing it's a boy…I guess you could say I have a feeling."
With the grainy yellow and black 3D image facing the doctor, she picked out the important information and ensured that everything looked healthy before addressing the couple. "Well that must be some feeling; what'd'ya know, it's a boy," she looked up to gage the looks on their faces. "And now for the moment you've been waiting for," she spun the screen around to face the two. The newer technology allowed Lois and Clark to pick out features easily and get the first real glimpse of their baby. "This one is by no means camera shy," the doctor smiled at the picture of fetus turned and looking directly at them.
"Wow," Clark whispered. His eyes flickered as the baby moved. "Can you feel that?" He asked Lois in awe.
"Yeah," she breathed. The baby already looked like a little person – and it had her completely enthralled.
"How about some mood music," the doctor smiled warmly and hit the audio button on the machine.
Immediately a sharp pounding beat shot forth from the speakers; it was running at least three times the speed of Lois' own pulse. Clark's eyes opened wide in wonder and his own heart sped up to meet the beats of his son. Overwhelmed with emotion, he turned from his gaze to Lois and was left breathless at the warmth and love radiating from her suddenly green orbs.
Feeling his eyes on her, she caught his stare. Together they reveled in a world of their own creation – a world that subsisted of the two of them and the beating heart of their child. Clark leaned over the bed and press his lips to her forehead and cheek, having no other way to share his joy with her as words didn't seem to justify the moment.
Not until Lois tightened her grip on his hand and cast him an eye of concern did he notice that he was floating almost a foot above the chair. At the realization, his was abruptly dumped back on the seat but the silent amazement held between them.
"It looks like you've got quite a showman here," the doctor earned herself two startled pair of eyes.
"What?" Clark's shrill inquiry caused Lois to wince.
"I think he's waving at you," the doctor pointed at the screen, oblivious to the goings on in her exam room outside of the baby.
"He's beautiful," Clark said while watching his son's arm move back and forth.
"He's a yellow blob," Lois deadpanned.
"A beautiful yellow blob," Clark countered, used to her off-beat sense of humour.
"Well of course. What child of ours wouldn't be beautiful," she scoffed.
"Hey," he laid a hand on her cheek to keep her face turned toward him, "thank you."
"For what?" She frowned.
"You know what," one side of Clark's mouth curved up. "Thank you for putting up with my….family and all their…eccentricities," he was careful with his wording. "And thank you for being an even better best friend than I could ever have hoped for." He reached up and captured her lips with his in one of the sweet kisses that had proved to be habit forming for them.
"Any time Smallville," Lois whispered against his lips sincerely. But just as quickly as the seriousness had crept into her eyes, a mischievous glint accompanied it. "Chloe's not going to be too happy when she finds out I'm your best friend," she teased.
"Lo-is," he warned, "you do want me to be around when our son is born right."
"Relax Smallville, I'm just joking," she gave him a quick kiss on the edge of his mouth, "I'll wait until after Ryan's born."
"Lana, hi," Chloe looked up from her computer screen to find her friend stalking toward her. "What're you doing here?" She took in the other girl's state, "And what happened to you?"
"It's nothing," she pointed to her sling, "I'm fine. I came to see my friend but considering everything you've been keeping from me I'm wondering if we're still friends," Lana's face was a mix of hurt and anger.
"Um…" Chloe raised her eyebrows, "you wanna back that thought train up so I can hop on?"
"Lois is pregnant and Clark claims the baby's his," Lana sat down across from her, clutching her purse in her lap.
"Oooooo-kay," Chloe narrowed her gaze at the girl.
"I know," she forestalled anything more Chloe could say, "I know the baby's not actually his. And I think it's sweet that he's trying to help Lois out since Oliver obviously wants nothing to do with her or the baby but what I can't figure out is why you didn't tell me," she shook her head at the blonde. "If Lois was worried about the truth getting out, I wouldn't have told anyone."
"Who told you the baby was Oliver's?" Chloe leaned forward.
"No one. Lex pieced it together when we saw Clark and Lois at the hospital this morning. They denied it of course – just more secrets," she scowled. I do feel sorry for Lois – I didn't know Oliver but I thought he would at least have the decency to stick around. You know Lex says he's moved back to Star City," Lana imparted.
"I wouldn't let Lois catch you saying you feel sorry for her," Chloe warned. "As for me not telling you, it was kinda their news to share – I didn't want to be telling people before they were ready."
"Does Clark really plan on raising this child as his own?" It was clear Lana thought very little about the idea.
"Would it bother you if he did? You have been telling him to respect your relationship with Lex for months and now that he's doing it you're playing the scorned woman," Chloe presented the argument as diplomatically as possible.
"That's not it at all. I just don't see the need for more lies," she protested.
"That's just it," Chloe bit her lip and leaned back in her chair, "it's not exactly a lie."
"The uh…part about Lois having Clark's baby," Chloe winced a bit at the impending storm.
"Chloe, you don't have to-"
"Actually I kinda do," she sighed. "The baby really is Clark's." Lana opened her mouth to argue but Chloe cut her off. "I was shocked when I found out too….okay, Mrs. Kent had to scrape me up off the floor…. but it's the truth." She could see Lana wasn't convinced. "Look, Lois didn't meet Oliver until after she was pregnant – so unless you know something I don't about baby making, he's not the guy." Chloe mentally rolled her eyes, if Lana only knew how Lois came to be pregnant.
"That doesn't mean Clark is," Lana pointed out.
"Well Clark seems mighty sure that he is," Chloe pursed her lips meaningfully. "Why is this upsetting you so much?" There was a grander display of emotion than she thought she would see by Lana. From everything her friend had told her, she was happy with Lex and to be rid of Clark's mysterious ways.
Thinking fast as she didn't want Chloe to know that she was plagued by jealousy over the relationship Clark seemed to have developed in a matter of months with Lois, she revealed the lesser of two evils, "I thought I was pregnant – when I was at the hospital I had the blood work done. Lex had the lab rush it."
"Well?" Chloe moved to the edge of her seat with anticipation.
"It was negative. I guess maybe I'm feeling a bit like I've been cheated out of something that Lois and Clark get to experience," she glanced down to her lap.
"I'm sorry Lana," she said sympathetically. "I didn't realize that you wanted to have a baby right now."
"Yeah, neither did I," she dodged. Lana was quiet for a few moments until she uttered the one question she swore she wouldn't ask. "Is Clark happy? About the baby? With Lois?"
Chloe's stare glowed compassionately for the dark haired girl, "Honestly, yeah he is. For the first time since I've known him, Clark seems….I don't know how to put it….he's like comfortable in his own skin or something."
Despite looking like she'd swallowed something bitter, Lana responded, "I'm happy for him."
"Hey'ya bright eyes, you ready to go?" Jimmy appeared at the side Chloe's desk.
"Yeah Jim," she smiled and turned to Lana, "We're going to the Boatman Theater to see Some Like it Hot. Jimmy's a classics fan."
"I should be going anyway. Lex is leaving tomorrow morning on business – I should be home to send him off," Lana didn't appear thrilled with the prospect. "Have a great time guys."
As she made her way out of the Planet's downtown office, she was struck by a wave of guilt and concern. Lex had thought it was funny when he'd suggested it and she had agreed as it served her feelings of spite at the time, but in hindsight she was being swept up in a wave of regret. With the two keep mum about Lois's pregnancy for so long, Lex reasoned that there may be some more important people they had neglected to tell. If what Chloe had mentioned about her uncle was accurate, he wasn't going to be impressed with Lex's gift. Hopefully Clark and Lois would weather the storm better than she and Lex and originally thought.
"You could have stayed at the farm you know," Clark followed Lois into the empty Talon and up the stairs to her apartment.
"And I told you that I have to go to work tomorrow – I'd rather stay here and have everything I need in the morning. You didn't have to ride home with me if you had other things to do."
"That's not why I wanted you to stay at the farm."
Paused with her key in the door, one side of her mouth quirked up coyly, "Oh really….why'd you want be at the farm then Smallville?"
"Manual labour," he deadpanned. But he wasn't anticipating Lois' response.
"Is that what they're calling it now," she winked cheekily at him. "I guess calling it a roll in the hay when there's actually hay is a little trite."
Clark groaned in frustration, "You know it's not fair to make comments like that after your impromptu striptease this morning."
That was one more change their relationship had undergone – a bolder spin to their flirting. It was as if since they had found out how she'd become pregnant that each was filled with unanswered questions of what a more natural approach would have been like. At times the flirting was merely a look one would shoot the other at the dinner table or while reading in the loft but other times it boiled so hot it threatened to spill over.
"Do you want something to eat?" Lois asked him.
"Lois, we just ate dinner," Clark exclaimed.
"I know but I want something to snack on."
"I thought you told the doctor your eating habits were the same," he crossed his arms skeptically.
"They are. I like to snack – fast metabolism," she pulled a box of crackers down from a cupboard. "You don't have to be so watch-doggie with me," she scowled.
"I'm not being watch-doggie."
"You are too. Ever since we left the hospital today you've barely taken your eyes off me. I'm not going to have the baby right now you know," she drawled facetiously.
"Yes, I know that," he rolled his eyes.
"So you didn't want me to stay at the farm tonight just so you could keep an eye on me and the baby?"
"No," Clark sighed.
"So what was that about then, you even had your mom try and persuade me."
"Maybe I like having you around." His slight blush gave away his sincerity.
"Awe Clark, you're so sweet," the saccharine tone she used was more to mock him than anything else.
He huffed, "See that's why I never tell you things like that."
"Oh I'm sorry Smallville," Lois said sincerely when she saw he was hurt. "Come here," she moved into his arms and hugged him tight. They held one another close for a long time. "Thanks for being there with me today."
"There's no where else I'd rather have been," Clark pressed a kiss in her hair.
"Do you have to go home right away or can you stick around and hang out for a bit?" Lois pulled back to be able to look in his eyes.
"I'll stay until you kick me out," he promised. "You want to watch TV?"
"I probably should go over some of the research for tomorrow's meeting but I think I'd rather relax," she sighed.
"Speaking of work, have you thought about when you'll take maternity leave?" They sat down on the couch with Lois' head resting comfortably on Clark's shoulder.
"I'm going to work until I go into labour," she shrugged.
Clark looked down at her in astonishment, "But what if you go into labour at work?"
"There are hospitals in Topeka Smallville and you'll be there in two seconds flat to take me anywhere I want to go anyway."
"Don't you want time to prepare everything and enjoy some relaxing time before the baby comes," he frowned.
"You've been reading 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'."
"No I haven't," he denied.
"I saw it on your bedside table Clark….you had sticky notes in it."
"Is there something wrong with wanting to be prepared?"
"Of course not," she shook her head. "You do know that's the boy scouts' motto right," she smiled up at him.
"I'm not laughing," came his dry response though his eyes were bright.
"I think it's cute – I wonder if they have merit badges for it," she joked.
"You're evil…and did you have to tell my mom what happened at the doctor's appointment this morning?" He groused.
"She asked what happened."
"She was asking about the baby, not about me floating out of my chair."
"And I thought she would find both interesting," Lois waggled her eyebrows. "Come on Clark, it's your mom, you would have told her sooner or later,"
"I just wanted a little bit of time to get the power under control before I told her," he stood up, ducking his head. "Flying doesn't exactly have a good track record with me. It usually means I'm not myself," he told her bashfully.
"Yeah, I know – red kryptonite," she nodded and stood as well, "but that isn't what happened today. You floated on your own. I thought your mom would be happy to know."
"Not everyone thinks my abilities are such an asset Lois," Clark said sadly.
"No Clark, you're the only one who thinks they're not. Your mom knows, like the rest of us, that in your hands the abilities you have can accomplish great things. Your Dad knew it, Raya too and certainly Jor-El knows. You're the only one holding back – you don't trust yourself with what you can do. But today, for like a minute, you trusted yourself. You trusted the abilities you have – or at least weren't worrying about them and you floated. You'll be flying before you know it." She patted his cheek. "And when you do, you're taking me for a ride."
"Aren't you scared I might drop you?"
"I'm more concerned about crossing a busy street in Metropolis," was her droll reply.
Clark smiled, "I don't know Lois, a couple hundred feet off the ground and you start making fun of my wardrobe – it might be too tempting."
"I'll show you tempting Kent," she pulled him in by his shirt to mate her lips with his. The kiss lasted a long while and they were both breathing heavily when they party.
"We have to stop doing this," Clark whispered.
"I know, it's dangerous," Lois agreed.
"So why does it keep happening?" Clark asked with raw candor.
"I have no idea," Lois admitted, though she did have some idea why it was happening on her part. Raya had stoked the embers of emotions she had for Clark months before and Jor-El had invited her curiosity with his explanation for her pregnancy.
If she was pressed to define what they were doing, she would say they were fooling around. She wasn't the type who usually would and she knew Clark wasn't…but in their current situation it was nice to take solace in someone – to know that they were going through the same things and could understand when you just needed to be held or to enjoy the simplicity and normalcy of a kiss.
"I'm gonna go put my pajamas on," Lois escaped to the bathroom, leaving Clark to wander the apartment.
He moved into the kitchen to make himself and Lois some tea but paused a moment. On the fridge door, held up by a magnet proclaiming a Chinese food deliver number was the sonogram picture from the morning. The magnet was upside down and the picture was slanted as though it had been tossed up there in haste. Clark took a second to straighten out the photo with a wistful smile.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Jerking upright, Clark shot a startled glance at the pounding on the front door. He frowned and turned to the closed bathroom door.
"Clark, you wanna get that?" Lois called.
"Did Chloe forget her key?" He took a few steps toward the door.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
"She's not coming home tonight," Lois hollered back.
The time of night and anger emanating from the knock prompted Clark to x-ray to be on the safe side; the skeleton was large and definitely male but there was only one.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
He reached the door and pulled it open just as the person on the other side banged the last time. As Clark's brain processed who his eyes were seeing with the door open, his whole frame seemed to shrink down. Outfitted in his stabled green fatigues and rank stars was Lois' father.
"General Lane, sir," Clark gulped audibly.
"Kent," the man's dark eyes sharpened and his hand fisted around his beret.
The bathroom door at Clark's back opened causing him to shut his eyes in foreboding.
"Who's at the door Smallville?" Lois faltered in her stride toward him when her father pushed his way into the apartment.
"Would you like to explain to me why I received a box of cigars from Lex Luthor today, congratulating me on the becoming a grandfather?!" He bellowed in the same tone she'd heard him use on new recruits. "And what on earth are you wearing?"
Clarkk had the presence of mind to close the door and had become just as caught up in what Lois was wearing as the General. She was sporting one of his missing red plaid shirts that fell almost to her knees.
"Relax Daddy, I'm wearing shorts," she inched up the hem to reveal a pair of cotton shorts. "I thought you were running maneuvers out at Fort Wayne."
"I'm not playing games Lois. What have you gone and done?" He stared her down.
"I was going to tell you," She began, crossing her arms over her chest protectively. "I just hadn't figured out how to yet."
"So it's true," he breathed. There was a war for supremacy of emotion of the General's face. He appeared stricken one moment and angry in the next; Lois knew that visible conflict in her father didn't bode well for her.
"Yes Daddy," she took a deep breath, "I'm pregnant. I'm sorry you found out the way you did….but I guess you can put that humidor I got you for your birthday to good use, right?" She attempted a smile.
"I can't believe you Lois!" He railed. "I thought you were smarter than this. I taught you better. You're barely even twenty-one years old and you're pregnant. You're throwing your life away! How do you think you'll be able to support a child – care for it – raise it!"
"I raised Lucy practically on my own," Lois fired back. "So I already know I can do that. And I happen to have a job that pays better than you're Captain's salary did when you had me!"
"I just don't understand you Lois. You've had everything you could ever want – the best education, a life of travel and college paid for but you insist on throwing it all away!"
"I'm not throwing anything away Daddy. I may not be living my life the way you envisioned it but I'm living it the way I want to. I'm an adult – that's what adults do!"
Seeing he was getting nowhere with his daughter, Sam spun on his heel to address Clark.
"You Kent – you've disappointed me. I feel like I've been taken for a fool. I thought you were an honest upstanding young man but then I find you in this predicament with my daughter," he approached the younger man. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't drop you in front of a North Korean firing squad?"
Clark was filled with a great empathy for the General's subordinates.
"Well Sir, I think that would only complicate matters further," the look Lois shot him was classic as they both pictured the bullets hitting him. "As you've pointed out, it's not going to be easy when the baby comes…Lois and I will need one another and I have no intention of not being present to raise our son."
"Son?" Sam's eyes widened and he spun back around to Lois for confirmation.
"Yeah Daddy, it's a boy," taking her father's silence as a good sign, she ran with it. "We had the first sonogram today. He's health and the doctor says everything looks good. It's also where we saw Lex," she scowled. "I'm not surprised he came running to tell you."
"His noted indicated that there was some question as to who the baby's father really was," his voice commanded answers as he glance back and forth between Lois and Clark.
Feeling his ire rising at the General's implications, Clark moved to stand next to Lois who was busy rolling her eyes, "There is absolutely no question that this baby is ours Sir. And I'm insulted at the insinuation otherwise." He reached down to clasp Lois' hand in his.
Clearing his throat of his previous query, his plowed ahead, "How did you two let this happen?"
"Sometimes no matter how proactive you think you're being things happen. You can think you're in control then life throws you into the trenches and you realize that you never really had the control to begin with," Lois imparted.
Sam eyed his daughter speculatively; he had never heard her speak with such introspective clarity before. It would seem that in the time she had been living in Smallville more had taken place than what he could have imagined.
"And what does your mother have to say about this Kent? I'm assuming she's aware as you're working for her Lois."
"His name is Clark Daddy," Lois moved closer to the former in a show of solidarity.
"My mother is aware – in fact Lois told her before she told me," he smiled at that remembered fact. "And my mother couldn't be happier. She was a little unsure at first because of our age but she knows we're committed to making the best life possible for our son."
"Well then, when can I expect the wedding," he asked gruffly.
"We're not getting married Daddy. This isn't nineteen fifty-five – you don't have to get married to have a baby or get shipped off to some distant relative," Lois said, affronted.
"You said you're committed to making the best life for your son – getting married is the way to do so. Isn't that right Clark." He leveled the young man with a menacing glare.
"Stop trying to stare Clark down Daddy. Even if he asked I'd say no. We're fine with things the way they are and nothing you say is going to change our minds." Lois stated with finality.
Sam looked resigned, "You always were headstrong," he shook his head dismayed then looked at Clark. "I wish you luck son," he sighed, "because if she's got as much of her mother in her as I suspect she does you're going to need it."
"Thank you General," Clark was shocked by the sudden one-eighty the man had made but when to cast a quick look Lois' way; it appeared as though she'd been expecting it.
"I know you're no pleased about this Daddy," she spoke softly, "but Clark and I will be more than okay." She pulled away from Clark to hug her father.
"Then I suppose congratulations are in order for you two," he held out his hand for Clark, pleased with the young man's firm grip. "We're running war games at the base outside of Smallville in two weeks Clark, you should come participate."
"Daddy…." Lois warned knowing her father was out to determine what his grandson's father was made of….if he only knew.
"It's alright Lo," Clark winked, "I'm love to join in Sir, send me the information and I'll be there."
"Excellent, I'll have my assistant send you everything," he slapped the young man on the back with force and was once more impressed when he didn't budge. "Well then you two, I've got a helicopter waiting for me," he walked himself to the door and opened it. "I expect to be kept in the know from now on. A Luthor has no business in our family dealings," he nodded to them both and donned his green beret, "goodnight." And with that he was gone.
Clark seemed to wilt with the closing of the door, "I feel like a tornado just blew through here."
"Nope," Lois grinned, "just the General. Short, sweet and to the point, all things my father appreciates. He got the information he came for and now he's onto the next mission."
"I thought he would be more upset than that," Clark had reclaimed Lois hand and had no plans to relinquish his hold on it.
"Oh he was angrier earlier but that's why he took the helicopter and didn't just call. He wanted to calm down – you can't launch a successful mission if you're blinded by emotions," she extrapolated one of the General's teachings from childhood. "That and he knew that there wasn't anything he could do to change the situation if Lex was telling the truth, or my mind." She chuckled, "I can't believe you agreed to the war games."
"I figure paintballs will leave less to explain than if he end up shoot me with real bullets." Clark ran a hand over Lois' hair as she yawned, "You should go to bed."
"Yeah," she agreed.
"I should go."
"Stay a little longer?" Lois asked with dark, searching eyes. "Just to lay with me."
"I thought we said earlier that it's dangerous for us to get too close," Clark worried but let her pull him the short distance to the bed.
"Yeah," she brought his head down for a sweet touch of lips, "but you've got super powers – you'll keep us safe."
The End (for Real this time)
Please R&R if you get the chance.