Copyright 9/7/2007

Disclaimer: The usual. No copyright infringement is intended. No money is being made from this.

A/N: Written for the Clois 100. This is also part of the Planes series, taking place after Reminisces of New Krypton


Clark stared down at the bowl of double fudge ripple ice cream in front of him and added more of the home made bread and butter pickles his mom had sent them from Kansas. For some strange reason, ice cream and pickles seemed to hit the spot today. He hoped Lois wouldn't mind him finishing off the last of the ice cream and promised himself to buy more on the way home from work tomorrow.

He let his thoughts drift back to Monday, when he had come back into the newsroom after talking with Doctor Klein at STAR Labs. He had pulled Lois into the conference room with him. She could tell from his expression that it wasn't good news.

"Honey, Dr. Klein ran every test he could. The poor guy could hardly face me. But he said my biology and yours are... just incompatible for reproduction," Clark told her.

Tears had welled up in her eyes and he'd pulled her into his arms. He hadn't wanted her to see the tears in his own eyes.

"I swore to myself I'd never make you cry. I so much didn't want to," he told her, gently rubbing his thumb against her cheek. She moved closer to him, burying her face in his chest. He could feel the misery coming off her, almost like a scent.

"I feel so confused; losing something I never really had," she said through her tears.

"We haven't lost anything," he tried to tell her. But he knew it was a lie. They had lost the future. There would be no little Kents, no babies to hold and love and nurture, no patter of little feet, no first words, no first day at school. 'Incompatible for reproduction.' Three not-so-simple words that said there would be no tomorrows. At least not here on Earth. On New Krypton? Maybe, but he had sworn he would never return there.

She managed a chuckle, not knowing where his thoughts were leading. "You're trying to make it better for me. Like you do with everything. And it's so sweet, but I know what you're giving up."

"Lois, I want you to hear me. Really hear me. Okay?"

"I'll try," she promised.

"Every time we make love, we make... love. And that's the strongest life force there is. Whether or not it results in another little person, for me it is creation," he told her, kissing away her tears.

But according to Doctor Klein, he and Lois would never make a new life together. 'Incompatible for reproduction.' No children, ever. Except for Ching on New Krypton, Clark Kent – Superman - was the last of the House of El. He was the only Kryptonian on Earth. He was the last of his line.

He'd had so many hopes coming back from New Krypton and many had come true. He and Lois had gotten married in a simple ceremony as soon as he had recovered from most of the injuries he'd sustained while away. He had his job back at the Planet and it was going well. The advance on his book about New Krypton had allowed them to make a sizable down-payment on a townhouse on Hyperion Avenue.

Superman had returned to the skies of Metropolis a month ago. Clark hadn't been sure he would ever be ready to put on the blue and red suit again but Lois had been unfailingly patient with him even through his nightmares. It had taken nearly seven months, but he was no longer waking up in a cold sweat after dreaming he was still in Nor's dungeon, waiting to die.

But Klein's news had dashed so many other hopes and dreams.

He heard Lois's footsteps on the stairs, her heartbeat coming closer. She walked into the kitchen wearing her nightgown, her robe tied loosely at the waist. Her hair was sleep-tousled. She was beautiful: she almost glowed.

"Clark, are you okay?" Lois asked, peering at the empty ice cream container and the near empty jar of pickles.

"Yeah, I'm fine…"

"Uh, honey, double fudge ripple ice cream with pickles, even your mother's pickles, isn't exactly normal," she pointed out.

"It just seemed right, somehow," Clark told her. "What I was hungry for, anyway."

"Clark, come to bed. You know Perry expects us in early tomorrow so we can cover the mayor's speech before she takes off for that conference in London."

Clark didn't move from his place at the breakfast table. "Lois, are you disappointed we can't… you know?" he asked softly. He didn't look up at her.

"That Klein's tests say we can't have kids? I knew that was a possibility. I mean, you're not from around here. We both knew that having children might be a problem for us. That's why you went in and had him do the tests," she said.

"So, you really are okay with it?" he asked.

"Hey, if we can't have kids together, that means I don't have to go back on the pill and we don't need to use protection. We can practice… a lot," she told him with a grin. "I'm more annoyed that social services councilor from the adoption agency gave you a whopping 97 points out of a hundred and me a whole 19 and five of that was for being a U.S. citizen," Lois stated. "I'm not a 'thrill addict'."

"I don't think you are either. I figure you're just so intent on doing your job that you don't always look at the danger of the situation that you're in. Or it's simply irrelevant to what needs to be done," he told her. "I do the same thing."

"You know it's discrimination," she stated. "No one with risky jobs should have kids? So I guess cops and test pilots and trapeze artists can forget it, too? And does she think I'm gonna run around deliberately sticking my neck out if I adopt a child? How dumb does she think I am?" Lois had started pacing, waving her arms in emphasis.

He grinned at her. "This is why I love you."

She stopped and looked over at him. "Because I'm crabby?"

"Because you never give up," Clark told her. "You didn't give up on me coming home. You didn't give up on Superman. And you won't give up on this."

"Clark, even if Doctor Klein is right, and you can't…" she said earnestly. "If we can't have our own child together… We will find a way to have a child of our own. There are options." She looked at the empty carton of ice cream once again. "Why did you have to eat the last of it? Ice cream with your mom's pickles doesn't sound so bad right now." There was a forlorn tone in her voice.

"You're the one who said it wasn't normal," Clark reminded her. "Besides, I think there may have been something off with Mom's pickles. My stomach's feeling a little queasy."

Lois stopped and stared at him a long moment. "Clark, you've swallowed bombs before without getting heartburn or anything else."

"I know, but I'm definitely not feeling real good right now."

Lois placed a worried hand against Clark's forehead. "You're not running a fever. But you know I've been feeling a little under the weather myself that last couple days. Kinda' like I might be coming down with the flu."

"I noticed you stopped at one cup of coffee this morning," Clark told her.

She shrugged. "Didn't smell quite right. But if you're still feeling off in the morning, maybe you should see Dr. Klein again."

"What about you?"

"Clark, it's normal for me to feel under the weather occasionally," she reminded him. "I catch colds and get food poisoning and headaches and paper cuts. It's not normal for you."

"Tell you what. If I'm still not okay after the mayor's conference, I'll go see Dr. Klein," Clark promised. "But if you're not up to snuff tomorrow, I want you to go see Dr. Anderson, okay?"

"Clark, you're a worrywart," Lois announced solemnly then she kissed him on the forehead. "Come to bed."

-o-o-o-

The morning's news conference didn't add anything to what Clark already knew about the mayor's visit to London. Then he heard an alarm sound and headed off to handle it, spinning into the blue and red in an alley before speeding to the Hob's River docks and a burning warehouse.

The smoke was already thick and it was oddly greasy, filling the air with foul odors. Superman pulled two workmen out of the warehouse, getting them to safety as the fire engines pulled up.

One of the firemen ran over to him: "What's the situation?"

Superman took a moment to clear his lungs, hoping it would clear his head and the gurgle in his gut as well. The stench was getting to him even though smells - even the most foul ones - rarely bothered him the way they did humans.

"I got the workmen out," Superman reported. "What's burning looks like used fat or grease. It's stored in barrels and there's stacks of it. I didn't see any sign of arson, though. Looks like it started in the office."

The fireman clicked on his radio and relayed the information to the rest of the team. Then he peered into Superman's face. "Hey, big guy, are you okay?"

Superman managed to nod once before his body betrayed him. He was able to turn away from the fire-fighter just before losing his breakfast all over the ground.

The fire-fighter grabbed his arm, supporting him as he continued retching. "Superman, there wasn't any kryptonite in there, was there?"

Superman shook his head as he straightened up. "No. I've… I've been overly sensitive to smells the last couple days."

"In that case, thank goodness nobody died in there," the fire fighter commented. His statement was followed by a widening of Superman's eyes and a hurried departure from the scene by the Man of Steel.

-o-o-o-

"Clark, what's going on?" Lois hissed at her husband as soon as he walked into the newsroom. She studied him as he made his way to his desk. His face was pale, even a little green.

"I don't know," Clark admitted as he sat down. "I feel better now, I think." His face screwed into a frown. "In fact, I have this unbelievable craving for spring rolls and General Tsao's chicken."

"Clark, it's…" She was interrupted by Perry White slamming open the door to his office.

"Clark, get over to STAR Labs and see if somebody over there has a clue as to what in Sam Hill is going on with Superman," the editor bellowed at them. "It's all over the wire services that Superman threw up right after that rescue at the warehouse fire."

Lois gave Clark a sympathetic look. "I've got a doctor's appointment," she said. "Perry's orders after I nearly threw up on Jimmy. I don't know what he was eating, but I've never smelled anything so disgusting." She leaned over and gave Clark a kiss. "Save me some General Tsao's. It sounds great."

-o-o-o-

Bernie Klein shook his head, clucking his tongue against the roof of his mouth as he took notes. Superman was sitting on the examining table watching him.

"And when did this start?" Klein asked.

"Well, I first noticed it about Tuesday," Superman told him. "Not long after we talked, in fact. Smells started bothering me, and making me a little nauseous. And then there's the food cravings. Last night it was ice cream with pickles…"

Klein started to chuckle. "Mood swings?"

Superman stopped and considered the question. "I don't think so. I might be a little edgier than usual, but it hasn't been a very good week."

Klein watched the man in the blue spandex for a long moment, considering how to phrase his next statement. "Superman, I can't see that there's anything wrong with you. If you were female, I'd recommend a pregnancy test."

Superman glared at him. "Doctor Klein, that isn't funny."

"It wasn't meant to be," Klein told him. "Have you been spending time around pregnant women?"

Superman gave him a puzzled look. "No, I don't think so…"

It was Klein's turn to look puzzled.

"No," Superman stated firmly. "The only time I'd be likely to be around a pregnant woman would be on a rescue."

"What about your lady friend?"

Superman shook his head. "No. And after those test results you gave me, I doubt it will ever happen."

"I was just thinking that maybe, with your heightened senses, you might be reacting to the pheromones a pregnant woman gives off," Klein explained.

"Doctor Klein, I don't react to human pheromones," Superman reminded him.

"It was just a thought," Klein admitted with an embarrassed shrug. "Look, if the symptoms persist, come back and we'll run some more tests. In the meantime, try to avoid the odors that are making you feel sick."

"And the cravings?"

"So long as you're not eating kryptonite, I doubt it'll hurt you. But I have to admit, it is a little strange."

-o-o-o-

Lois sat on the examining table, swinging her legs in annoyance as Doctor Anderson looked over her medical file. At least Anderson had assured her it wasn't the flu, but her other questions didn't make a whole lot of sense, considering the circumstances. And she certainly hadn't expected to end up getting a pelvic exam. That part alone was enough to put her off seeing a doctor for the rest of her life.

"Mrs. Kent, are you and your husband using any sort of 'protection'?" Anderson asked.

Lois sighed and shook her head. "We were trying to get pregnant, but then his physician ran some tests and said Clark can't father children."

"You've had no sexual partners aside from your husband?"

"Of course not," Lois stated in horror. "Clark and I are very happy together."

"In that case, you might have a problem, Mrs. Kent," Anderson stated, leaning against the counter in the examining room. "You're pregnant. About four weeks along. I'd put your due date right about the middle of December."

"But that's impossible!"

Anderson raised one perfectly manicured eyebrow. "Mister Kent's physician is absolutely positive that he's sterile?"

"Apparently, yes."

"In that case, you need to figure out how to break this to your husband, because either that other doctor is wrong, or…"

"Or I've been cheating on my husband?"

-o-o-o-

Clark's stomach had settled a little by the time he got back to the newsroom. He'd gone to Hong Kong to one of his favorite little restaurants and brought back spring rolls, vegetable fried rice and General Tsao's chicken to share with Lois, but the cravings had gotten the better of him and he had eaten his share and was eyeing the remainder when Lois got back from her appointment.

"Is everything okay?" he asked. She didn't answer as she flopped into her chair. Her expression was troubled. "Lois?"

"I don't have the flu," she told him. "What did Klein say?"

"Stay away from odors that set me off and if I get a craving for kryptonite, don't eat it," he responded quietly. He watched her worriedly as she settled at her desk and turned on her computer. The tension seemed to be coming off of her in waves he could almost see.

"Lois, what's wrong?"

"Nothing… I think… maybe…" she answered.

"Lois, something is wrong, isn't it?"

"I'm not sure," she admitted. "But let's talk about this later, okay?"

"Promise?" Clark asked. She was scaring him now. What could be so wrong she can't say anything here?

"Promise." She spotted the bamboo containers and opened the top one. "Oh, you got some," she said, her face splitting into a grin as she dug into what was left of the spring rolls and rice. "I've been absolutely craving this all day." She spotted Clark's continuing worried looks in her direction. "Clark, we'll talk at home, tonight. It's not bad… I don't think… but it is a little confusing."

With a sinking heart, Clark turned back to his own computer and started typing in the story about Superman getting sick at the warehouse fire. As he worked he heard Lois muttering to herself as she checked her emails and started working on her own story: the background sidebar for the International Mayors' Conference in London.

'Maybe Klein is wrong… he has to be wrong… there's no other explanation… but what if Clark believes him…? What if Klein is right…?' she was muttering under her breath. 'No, Anderson is wrong… she has to be… she misread the tests… That's the only explanation…'

"Lois?" Clark said, interrupting her train of thought. "What's wrong? What tests did Doctor Anderson do?"

"What do you mean, 'what tests'?" Lois asked in return. 'Oh my God… he knows…'

This time he was looking straight at her. 'Oh my God… he knows…' echoed in his brain and he realized she hadn't actually said it. Her lips hadn't moved. "Lois, I think we need to take this to the conference room," he announced, leaving his desk and taking her arm. She walked with him, but he could feel her worry: it sent echoes through him. What is she so worried about?

He shut and locked the door behind them and went to the table. "Lois, what tests did Anderson do, and why are you so afraid of the results?"

She wouldn't meet his eyes. "Clark, how certain is Klein about his results?"

Clark sighed. "He told me he had done every test he could think of, including some that were probably less than ethical. I didn't ask for details."

Lois swallowed hard. "The tests Anderson did, the reason I've not been feeling so great… Clark, either Klein is wrong, or something else is going on… I mean, I know I never really wanted kids, so us not being able to have any only really bothered me because I knew you wanted a family, not because my biological clock is running, even though it is and this shouldn't really upset me like this and I know I said there were options and I have no idea what I'm afraid of because you know I would never do anything to hurt you…"

Clark stared at her a long moment, eyes widening as the import of what she had said hit him. Klein is wrong…?

"Lois, those tests…?"

She had started crying. "Clark. I'm pregnant."

It started as a little bubble of disbelief that grew into a full blown geyser of emotions, primarily joy. "Lois… That's great!" Then he saw that she wasn't sharing his elation at the news. "Isn't it?"

"What if Klein isn't wrong?" she asked plaintively.

"Lois, I know you would never do anything to hurt me, any more than I would do anything to hurt you. I know this. Klein is simply wrong," Clark told her earnestly. Once again he found himself wiping away her tears.

"And if he isn't?" she asked. "I mean, how often is he wrong?"

"Not often," Clark admitted. "But even if he's right, well, that's something we'll just have to deal with later. I mean, there has to be a logical explanation."

"Yeah. There's a logical explanation," Lois stated. "I don't just attract danger. I attract weird. Maybe I have a hole in my memory I don't even remember, or I was abducted by aliens for some sort of experiment, or… or…"

"Or, as strange as it seems, Doctor Klein is wrong." He kissed her cheek. "In fact, he asked me if I'd been spending time around pregnant women. He thinks that's why I haven't been feeling so great. He thinks I've been reacting to the pheromones… to your scent…"

"But Clark…"

"Lois," he interrupted her. "We are going to have a baby…"

She managed a tremulous smile. "Yeah, we're having a baby… But let's not tell Perry and Jimmy just yet, okay? You know Perry. He'll just start freaking out on us."

"How about telling our parents?"

Lois's eyes widened in horror. "Oh God, my mother…"

-o-o-o-

The rest of the afternoon was a blur. Lois left early to go home – she still wasn't feeling a-okay and although Perry gave her a worried look, he didn't ask any questions when she submitted her story and took off for the rest of the day. Clark was called away twice: once to handle a jewelry store robbery and once to deal with a multi-car pileup on the Ordway. While the smell of gasoline and diesel did nothing for his stomach, at least there hadn't been a repeat of earlier in the day. His lunch stayed where it belonged.

Clark was just closing down his computer in preparation for leaving for the day when Perry came over to his desk.

"You know son, my door is always open for you and Lois, don't you?" Perry began. "If there's a problem, you can talk to me about it. If there's some sort of health issue…?"

"Lois just hasn't been feeling a hundred percent the last couple days, that's all," Clark told him.

"Uh, Clark, the last time I saw a woman look that green over a pastrami on onion roll, it was Alice," Perry said solemnly. "Just before she told me she was pregnant…"

"Like I said, she's been a little under the weather the last couple days and so have I," Clark told him. "But I promise that if it turns out to be more serious than that, we'll let you know."

"You make sure you do that," Perry warned was he headed back to his office. Clark breathed a sigh of relief as he hurried out of the newsroom, heading for home.

-o-o-o-

Supper was sandwiches and tomato soup – Lois wasn't up to anything more complicated.

"Perry cornered me as I was heading out," Clark told her as he crushed more crackers into his soup. "He's worried about you."

"And?"

"And according to him, your symptoms are the same as Alice had before she told him she was pregnant."

"And what did you tell him?" Her heart rate had jumped.

"Just that we've both been a little under the weather, but if it's serious, we'll let him know," Clark told her.

"Oh my God he knows…" Lois wailed. "He's going to give me nice safe assignments and I'll never leave the newsroom again." She was starting to tear up.

"Lois, I'm sure he won't do that to his best reporter," Clark assured her.

"Clark, you weren't here when Simone Fulton got pregnant," Lois told him, eyes wide in remembered horror. "She tried to keep it quiet and then Perry found out and she ended up covering the school board and dog shows… He wouldn't even let her cover the cat shows cause cats carry something that could have hurt her baby… I'll never get another Kerth nomination again… He'll chain me to my desk…"

"Lois, I'm sure it won't be that bad," Clark tried to assure her. "Perry knows how good an investigative journalist you are. He would never do that to you… Besides, I'm your partner. It'd be kinda' silly to assign us both to the school board, right?"

"Clark, you have no idea how devious that man can get," Lois warned. "You remembered to bring home some double fudge ripple, didn't you?"

Clark was startled by the sudden change of topic. "Yes. It's in the freezer."

"Good… when you call your parents, ask your mom to send more pickles."

"I thought we'd tell them together," Clark said.

Lois shook her head. "I'm going to take a nice long bath while I can still get in and out of the tub on my own." He watched her as she hurried up the stairs, still befuddled by her turnabouts. Clark cleared the supper table before settling down in the living room and dialing his parents' house.

"Mom, Dad, Lois and I have something to tell you," Clark began as soon as his parents picked up their phones.

"Honey, is there something wrong?" Martha immediately asked.

"No… at least I don't think there's anything wrong," Clark told them.

"So, what's going on, son?" Jonathan asked.

"Lois and I… Lois is pregnant. Her doctor said the baby's due in mid-December," Clark said, rushing his words as though afraid they might get away and become untrue.

"Honey, I thought you told us Doctor Klein…?"

"He did," Clark affirmed. "Lois and I are going to see him tomorrow. I figure he had to have missed something."

"And how does Lois feel about this?" his dad asked.

"Scared," Clark admitted. "I mean, I'm scared too. It's a big step, becoming a parent."

Clark heard both of his parents chuckle at his understatement. He continued more seriously. "She's worried that Klein might be right which means we're dealing with something seriously weird."

"Weirder than being married to you?" Jonathan asked. Clark could almost see the smile on his father's face.

"Yeah, weirder than me," Clark agreed. "And frankly, I'm a little worried too."

"Clark, you make sure Lois understands that you're going to love that baby, no matter how it happened, right?" Martha insisted.

"Of course I will, Mom," Clark told her. "Oh, Mom, could you send us more of those bread and butter pickles? We've both been craving them."

"Both of you?" Jonathan asked. His voice was tinged with disbelief.

"Both of us," Clark confirmed. "It's weird. I've had cravings and I've been sick to my stomach around bad smells. Doctor Klein thinks I've been reacting to Lois's hormone changes… Of course, he doesn't know it's Lois."

"Are you going to tell him?" Jonathan asked.

"I don't see that I have a choice," Clark told them. "I'll let you know how it goes."

-o-o-o-

"Back so soon?" Bernie Klein asked as soon as he saw Superman walk into his office the next morning. "And Miss Lane, or Mrs. Kent, isn't it now?" He set aside the beaker he'd been measuring liquids into and cleared one of the chairs off for Lois. He peered at Superman. "Not feeling sick still, are you?"

Superman shrugged. "It's kind of related to why we're here. Doctor Klein, yesterday you mentioned that I might be reacting to being around a pregnant woman."

"Yeeess." Klein looked from Superman to Lois.

"Doctor Klein, you told Superman that he was incompatible with humans. Reproductively speaking," Lois began. "Exactly how certain are you?"

Klein looked uncomfortable. "As certain as I can be without knowing who the lady friend in question is. I even went so far as to do one test that could get me into serious trouble, but that one was the kicker."

They just looked at him in confusion.

"I can tell you that a healthy human ova fertilized by Kryptonian sperm does not develop past the blastocyst phase," he told them. "That's about five days after fertilization. It stops developing and it dies."

"In that case, I think we have a problem," Superman told him. "Because we have reason to believe that Lois is pregnant."

Klein gave him a blank look before peering over at Lois. "And how is that a problem?" Suddenly realization came in to his eyes. "But you're a married woman… I mean, what about your husband?"

Lois managed a chuckle. "Yeah, we're getting to that. I am married…." She took Superman's hand, folding her hand around his. "To him."

"But…" Klein's eyebrows were trying to climb up his forehead. "I thought you were married to Clark Kent?"

"She is," Superman told him.

Klein cleared his throat nervously. "Uh, maybe I don't want to know about these modern relationships."

Superman chuckled although there was little humor in it. "Doctor Klein, Lois and I are married to each other. The name on my driver's license is Clark Kent." With that he turned and sped into his street clothes. When he stopped he was in his suit and tie, holding his glasses in his hand.

Klein gawped at him, eyes widening in wonder and disbelief. He seemed to shake himself out of his astonishment. "Uh, well, this does change things a little. I think we need to do more tests."

"Nothing that would hurt the baby, right?" Clark asked.

Klein managed a horrified look. "Of course not. I just never considered testing your lady friend for her compatibility, especially after what happened in Smallville."

"What happened in Smallville?" Clark asked.

Klein gave him a confused look. Lois sighed and answered. "I only found out from your parents. It never hit the media. But one of the reasons so many people in Smallville survived Lor's invasion was that his men… There were a lot of rapes."

"But no offspring," Clark filled in for himself.

"Not as far as we know," Klein told them. "I didn't even know about what happened in Smallville until after I started the tests and got hold of some of my colleagues over at Stanford. Genetically, human and Kryptonian DNA is almost identical. Only about twenty thousand years to the most recent common ancestor, at least according Professor Heinrich."

"So, what will these tests entail?" Lois asked.

"A full DNA and cell study on you," Klein told her.

"And how long will that take?" Clark asked.

"Oh, about eight months. But we can do a noninvasive paternity test at about twelve weeks."

-o-o-o-

"What do we do now?" Lois asked.

"Well, we wait," Clark told her. "And if I know you, you'll be eating a lot of chocolate while you figure things out…"

She reached into her purse and pulled out a candy wrapper.

"Check. Then you get that real determined look... Sort of like now. And then... the seas part," he told her. He held her close, feeling her heart beat. He could hear the faint flutter of a second heart from somewhere below her belly button.

"So you know the drill," she said. "Honey, you and I have come through almost every conceivable disaster, usually through inconceivable means. So, obviously, we're gonna have to be fearless once again."

"The only thing I've ever been afraid of is saying 'no' to you, and I'm not starting now," Clark told her. He was only half joking. "We're having a baby. I'm having a baby with the woman I love. The woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. The woman I can't get enough of. The woman I crave."

"Well, this woman is starving," she told him with a tremulous smile. "I want to be well fortified before we tell Perry… and my mother. I'm craving pasta with lots of red pepper and parm."

"Honey, you know what pasta does to me," Clark told her.

"So, maybe we'll tell Perry later, after a really long lunch…"

Clark's reply was lost as she grabbed him, pulling him into a deep, soul-searing kiss.

-o-o-o-

STAR Labs - Eight Months Later

"Congratulations, it's a boy," Doctor Anderson announced, placing a bloody, slimy, squalling baby on a sterile towel on Lois's belly.

"He's beautiful," Clark murmured to his wife.

"It's your turn next time," Lois told him. She was sweaty and exhausted and her dark hair was standing on end. Clark had never seen her looking so beautiful.

"Would you like to cut the cord?" Anderson asked Clark, handing him a pair of surgical scissors. Clark snipped the purple-red cord at the point Anderson indicated. One of the assistants bundled the baby into the towel and took him over to a nearby table to be checked out and cleaned up.

"Weight seven pounds, ten ounces, Apgar score 9," the assistant announced. "He's a strong little fellow. What's his name?"

"Clark Jerome Kent Junior," Lois announced.

Clark gave her a surprised look. "I thought you didn't want a 'junior' in the family?"

"We can call him Jerry or CJ," she told him. She was sitting up, holding out her arms. The assistant placed the dried off baby in her arms and helped her lower the hospital gown to bare her chest. "Hi CJ," she murmured as he latched on to an available nipple. She winced. "No doubt about it. He's your son," she said, glaring at Clark.

"There hasn't been any doubt of that for six months," Clark reminded her. To the astonishment of Doctor Klein, the paternity test had proven that Clark was the father of Lois's unborn child. That the tests had been done at all had been explained by saying that Lois and Clark had been afraid that Clark Kent's cell structure had been altered by living on New Krypton for a year. That fear was also the explanation for why STAR Labs was the center chosen for Lois's delivery.

The placenta was delivered and Anderson gave Lois a quick look-over before beckoning the assistant to accompany her out of room to give the new family some privacy. Clark settled onto the edge of the thin mattress to marvel at his wife and new son.

Klein walked into the room, took a look at Lois's chest barely obscured by the suckling baby and turned bright red. "Uh, Professor Heinrich just got back to me with the second opinion on those test results on Mrs. Kent."

"And?" Clark prompted.

"Uh, Lois's cell architecture can definitely support having your baby…" Klein stammered out.

Clark just stared at him.

"Oh yeah, that part's obvious," Klein said. "We're still not sure why, but Lois's mitochondria are very similar to yours. So obviously Lois is… different," Klein started mumbling to himself. "What are the odds, out of nearly six billion people…?"

"You think I'm an alien," Lois stated, starting to laugh in disbelief. "Next you'll be asking if I was Ultrawoman."

"You were?" He peered at her. "Of course you were." Klein's expression turned thoughtful. "Maybe that's it… That has to be it… of course, Ultrawoman and Superman… of course…"

With that Klein left shuffling through the papers he'd brought with him. Lois and Clark were left watching after him in bewilderment.

"How long do you think we'll have to wait until he actually explains what he meant?" Clark asked.

"You know what?" Lois asked. Clark shook his head. "I don't care. But you'd better bring me some double fudge ripple and General Tsao's. I'm starving."

"Still having cravings?"

"Only for you, honey. Only for you."

-o-o-o-

If you have a great passion it seems that the logical thing is to see the fruit of it, and the fruit are children.
Roman Polanski