---- Chapter 65
"So that's what our house looks like!" Lois grinned over at Clark as he pulled them into the driveway. "It's been over two months since I've been home, so I was starting to lose my mental picture of it."
Clark parked the car and leaned over, kissing her on the neck. Damn, of all the things she hadn't thought about in her time in the mental hospitals, she definitely hadn't thought about the little ticklish spots he knew so well. She fought against a giggle, of all things, as he pulled back and got out of the car. Mental health did not mean she had to giggle!
Rolling her eyes, Lois got out of the car as Clark opened her door for her. "I appreciate the chivalry, Smallville, but I can do things all on my own."
"Then why were you just sitting in the car?"
"I was fighting off the urge to giggle." She pointed at him. "And I was doing it all because of you, so quit being adorable and kissing me in places that make me want to giggle."
"Yeah, that's not going to happen." Lois smiled as he wrapped his arms around her from behind and started nuzzling her neck. She didn't fight the giggles this time. He stopped and rested his chin on her shoulder. "We should probably go inside."
Lois frowned. "Do we have to? I'm kinda dreading this part."
"I'm sure Dr. Deter would say that this is an integral part of the healing process."
"I call bullshit."
"Be that as it may, it has to be done."
"Fine, but it's happening under protest." Lois sighed and started walking towards the house, feeling Clark's arms slide off her. Looking at the front door, she sighed again before reaching for the knob. Taking a deep breath, she looked back at Clark, who just ushered her on, and she pushed open the door.
Lois plastered on a pleasant looking smile as she walked into the throng of friends and family awaiting her. When she reached the crowd and saw just how many people were waiting for her, she smiled sincerely and got wrapped in a hug by Chloe. Why couldn't it have been just Chloe? "Welcome home, Lo."
"Thanks, Chlo. It's good to be home." She let go of Chloe and ran a hand through her hair, looking around at all the people that were there. She waved at Perry, who gave her a nod before walking over.
"Good to see you, Lois. Any word on when I can expect you back at work?"
Lois smiled. "I'll be back soon, Chief. The doc recommended that I take my time and slowly work it back into my life, so I think I'll be back full time in a week or two."
"Fantastic! Now, it's a Friday afternoon, so I need to get back to the office." He looked back at the throng of people. "Jimmy!"
Lois rolled her eyes as Jimmy made his way through the crowd and smiled at Lois sheepishly. "Your sister is really nice, Lois."
Perry cut in. "Alright, enough small talk. Jimmy, let's head back to work. Chloe, I want your story on the north side developments for the Tuesday morning edition. Lois, the sooner your back, the fewer blood pressure pills I have to take. No pressure."
"Wasn't feeling any, Perry. See ya soon."
She watched them walk out and spoke to Chloe. "North side developments?"
"Later. Go greet your friends and enjoy your afternoon."
"My afternoon would be a little better if I could see my girls while talking to my friends."
"Martha and Bruce have them over at my place. Why don't you mingle for a little while before sneaking out to see them. Chances are, in a room full of super heroes, only half of them will notice."
Lois frowned at Chloe. "You make it sound like I've lost my touch. I bet I could get out of here with only twenty percent noticing. I'd say nobody, but I'm not as young as I used to be."
"If only," she heard Chloe mumble. "I can't believe I'm thirty six. Where the hell did the time go?"
"Very good question, cuz. I'm going to be thirty seven real soon, and considering I don't remember about thirteen years of it, I feel as though I should be pushing my mid twenties. Be that as it may, we can still kick ass, and that's what is really important in life. We won't truly be old until we can't do that anymore, and considering the fact that I plan on always kicking ass, I will never be old. What about you?"
"By that criteria, I plan on never being old either."
Lois smiled and wrapped an arm around Chloe's shoulders. "Good, because if you were planning on not kicking ass in the future, I was going to have to question whether or not we were actually related."
"Ha! Like you could get rid of me. Our kids are already as close as we were at their ages. I really don't know if Bobby and Andy are going to be aware that they aren't twins until one of us tells them when they're ten."
"I think they might notice before then, Chloe. Probably. They don't look all that similar, though I've known twins where that was true."
Lois worked her way through the people that had come to greet her, conversing with most of them for little while. She enjoyed herself, but through all of it was hoping she could get away to see Jordan and Andy. While talking to Diana, she locked eyes with Clark and he smiled at her, making her smile too. He walked off and disappeared from her sight, and she let her eyes drift back to Diana.
"How have things been in New York?"
"Pleasantly slow. It's really been that way for most of the time you were gone. It seems that the world doesn't turn quite as quickly without Lois Lane Kent in the middle of all the action."
"That's flattering, but I haven't been to New York since... well, I don't remember when. Point being, as much as I like to be considered the center of the universe, I'm not even the center of my own universe anymore. That spot is reserved for two little girls."
Diana smiled and nodded her head off to the left. "Speaking of which..."
Lois looked over and smiled as Clark walked into the house with Andy in his arms and Jordan running ahead of him. She wove her way through the adults and jumped up at Lois, who once more happily caught her. "Hey there, baby girl!"
"Welcome home, mommy."
"Oh, thank you so much." She turned and faced Diana again as she got Jordan settled in her arms.
"Hi, aunt Diana."
Diana smiled at Jordan. "How are you doing, Jordan?"
"I'm glad. I'll let you spend some time with your mommy."
Lois smiled at Diana. "Thanks. You going to stick around or head back home?"
"I have some League business to take care of, but I'm sure I'll see you soon. If nothing else, Clark will be telling us about how annoyed you are by not working."
"Hey, I don't... I won't..." Lois sighed. "Yeah, after talking to Perry earlier, I'm already starting to want to head back there and jump into something."
"Take care of yourself, Lois."
"You too, Diana."
Lois watched Diana walk away for a second before looking down at Jordan. Her daughter smiled up at her. "Can I jump into something with you, mommy?"
"Dear lord, you may not. You're not allowed to be jumping into anything until you're at least six, and since you'll only be five next month, you're going to have to wait a year." As much as she wanted to believe that such a thing might be true, she knew that once Jordan, Aly and Liz started school, it was only a matter of time before they were all jumping into things, even if they were only kid things.
Walking through the living room, Lois made her way over to Clark, who was holding Andy while he talked with Chloe. She stopped in front of him and looked at Andy a second before looking up at Clark. "Hand her over, Smallville."
"Andy. I have a free arm which I have designated to hold the smaller of my two offspring. Now, quit hogging her and Chloe and go mingle."
"Oh, alright," he said in an exaggerated manner. He placed and lightly against her and kissed Lois on the forehead before walking off into the living room. After smiling down at both her girls, she looked up and found Chloe smiling at her.
Lois looked down at Jordan and Andy again, biting her lip as she realized how good things were. "Happy."
"I hate snow," Lois grumbled as she walked along the sidewalk, flakes hitting her in the face with increasing frequency. She quickened her step and walked inside the Daily Planet building, brushing flakes out of her hair as she got into an elevator with a group of people.
The rest of summer and fall had really flown by. They'd done the birthday thing for Jordan and then got her started in school. She was enjoying it, and enjoying having lots of kids to play with. She and the twins still stuck together like glue most of the time, and had a group of friends they all shared. Before Lois had blinked, Halloween had come and gone, along with Thanksgiving, and now it was early December. Freakin' time, always passing in such odd ways.
The ride up was quiet, and after a few stops, they came to her floor and she got off, pulling her jacket off as she walked through the bullpen. She nodded to a couple people and waved at Jimmy as he flew by, getting a quick smile in return. Jimmy and Lucy in a relationship. Who'd have guessed that one?
Tossing her jacket into her office, she moved the few steps backwards and knocked on Chloe's door. She waited a moment before frowning and knocking again, this time louder. She heard something fall over on the desk before she heard Chloe say come in a moment later. She walked in and found that Chloe was sitting in her desk chair with Bruce standing behind her.
"That would explain it. Glad I didn't just knock and walk this time." She smiled as Chloe's cheeks colored a little. "It's good that you two are still so... frisky is the word, I think... after thirteen years of marriage."
"Frisky? I don't know what you're talking about, Lois."
"No? Then why does it seem like you guys are one afternoon tryst away from number five?"
"Number five what?"
"Baby number five. I swear, whenever Bruce is in town I walk in on you two kissing in here. You're probably lucky I'm here to interrupt so often, or who knows what number you guys would be on."
Chloe raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest. "You're trying to say this is a bad thing by bringing up babies, of all things? Have you noticed how many kids I have? Jeez, I don't think you've even brought up babies to me since both of ours passed about eight months."
"I was just saying, since you've retired from the baby business, you should be careful. Didn't you two make Bobby in your office in Gotham?"
"That is neither here no there, since he was a planned venture. I mean really, you could have brought up being caught by Perry, or Jimmy, or Clark even, though I doubt he would walk in with his hearing. So why babies?" Chloe's eyes went wide and she snapped her fingers, pointing at Lois. "Oh!"
"You've got baby on the brain!"
Lois glared at Chloe. "I do not!"
"You do! Through the years, the only times you've been the first time to bring up something baby related was when you asked me what being pregnant was like and when you were actually pregnant. I discount the first one to too much drinking, since I'm fairly certain you never would have asked me sober."
"When was that?"
"My wedding reception. Completely out of the blue and not long before you danced on a table and had to be rescued from your drunken self by Clark. So, what has small, crying people popping into your head?"
"I do not have small, crying people popping in my head. Well, I do, but one is named Jordan and the other Andy, and since Jordan rarely cries, I have one small smiling person in my head."
Chloe scoffed and got up out of her chair, moving over and leaning on Bruce, who was still standing next to the desk chair. He wrapped on arm around Chloe and smiled at Lois. "My wife is telling the truth. From my experiences with you over the years, the only time you willingly bring up babies is when you're thinking about or going towards having one."
"You're just legally required to be on her side."
"I married her because she's correct more often than not and it pays to be on her side. You're usually there, too."
Lois leaned back against the wall and frowned. "I like being on her side, because we almost always agree on things. This time, though, I'm not thinking about babies. Old Lois was the one that never brought them up, and I am new, healthy Lois. That said, what I'm thinking about is just how healthy I actually am and whether or not I'll forget again."
"Dr. Deter said with you remembering the attack, forgetting again is most likely not going to happen."
"That's just it, though: most likely. I don't like the phrase most likely. With most likely, there's still room for the less likely to happen and in this case, that would be awful. I want to keep these memories, as bad as about six weeks of it was. I mean, once I saw the girls, things really turned for me, but the six weeks before that were as bad as anything in my head, even mom dying."
Lois looked down at the floor, sighing before looking back up at Chloe and Bruce, smiling sadly. "Forgetting Jordan and Andy... that's just about the worst thing I can think of, and I can think of some really bad things if I so desire."
"I get it," Chloe said. "You think that if you get pregnant, you'll know once and for all if you're going to forget again because it happened during both your other pregnancies."
"And it really makes me feel like the world's biggest ass for thinking like that. Seriously, there aren't many more selfish reasons to try and have a baby. Going up to Clark and saying 'Let's have another baby to see if I'm really cured or not!' just seems wrong on like, twelve different levels."
"Do you think Clark would object to having another baby?"
"Of course not. You've seen how much he loves Jordan and Andy, and I know that he'd like to try for a boy at some point in time."
"Are you ready for another baby?"
Lois shrugged. "I don't know. I want to try for a boy as much as Clark does, but right now? Andy isn't even two yet, so that just makes me cautious. Since I never thought about having kids when I was younger, I never thought about the pros and cons of having them close together or spread out. It doesn't really matter, because I would love any baby as much as I could, but I think I just need to think about it more."
Chloe walked over and hugged her, making Lois smile a bit. "Whatever decision you make will be the right one, and if you do decide to have a baby, it's going to be because of love. You probably won't even realize you didn't lose your memory until you're three seconds into your five minute labor and delivery."
"Are you going into that again?"
"It's just not fair! I went through hours and hours of pain three times, and your two supposed labors combined wouldn't fit inside one hour of one of my painful labors."
"Yeah, well, you got to have your babies incident free and in a sterile environment with more warning than the urge to push, so I think we're even."
"Hey, what'd I miss?"
Lois looked over and found Clark walking into the office, smiling as he kissed her on the cheek and looked around. She wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled herself close to him. "Not much. Just the usual banter and such. Where'd you run off to earlier?"
"There was a mudslide in Peru that required some attention."
The rest of the afternoon passed quickly, with their most recent investigation having gone to print a few days before. It had been nice exposing white collar crime once again, especially when the target had been peoples retirement funds. Lois smiled as she walked up to Chloe's house with her cousin and followed her inside, finding Jordan playing in the living room. She'd negotiated with Perry to get off early two days a week to pick up Jordan from school, and on days like these, she got picked up with the twins and Jack while Andy and Bobby stayed in the Wayne house.
After giving Jordan a quick hug and sending her to get her backpack, she picked up Andy and tickled her a bit before smiling at Chloe. "We going to see you guys tonight?"
"Bruce is still making up to the girls for having to miss most of their birthday on League business, so he's doing another big meal for them tonight, along with a couple more presents. I won't be shocked if they both end up with a pony."
"Lucky kids. See ya tomorrow, Chlo."
After a quick bundling of both kids against the cold, Lois jogged them back over to their house and got them into the warmth, getting each kid out of coat and hat. Jordan ran off to go read, her favorite activity since she'd started school, and Lois carried Andy with her as she found Clark sitting in the living room. She sat down on the couch, plopping Andy down in between them. He looked over at her.
"We going to see the Wayne's tonight?"
Lois shook her head. "Bruce is still making up to the twins, so it's another night of Wayne family fun. Just the Kent's this time."
"I guess we can wing that. Have any preferences on what's for dinner?"
"I'm thinking Italian. You thawed that hamburger meat and we have everything else, so how about spaghetti?"
"Sounds good. I'll get it started."
She watched Clark go, debating on whether or not she wanted to talk to him about what had come up earlier in the day with Chloe and Bruce. Well, she had to talk with him, but she almost felt like she needed to prepare herself. Hell, she needed to figure out what the hell she wanted to do. Did she want another baby in nine or ten months? If they decided to go for it, it would probably only take one attempt, if history was any indication.
Shaking her head, she decided to put it off for the moment. They could talk after dinner. She looked down at Andy, who in turn looked up at her as she sucked on her thumb. "You getting hungry, my little Andy? What am I saying, of course you are. Well, dinner is soon and until then, I suggest you just keep on sucking that thumb."
If Lois hadn't known any better, she'd have said that Andy was trying to raise an eyebrow at her. Just in case, she raised an amused eyebrow down at her daughter before tickling her tummy and pulling her into a hug.
A few hours later, dinner had been had and both the girls had conked out for the night. Lois was sitting on the couch, her feet up on the coffee table as she watched television. Clark had been gone for a little while, telling her before he left that there was a hostage situation downtown. She changed the channel, her mind not really on what was playing out on the screen. Talking to Clark about things was still stuck in her head.
Just as her eyes focused on the screen again, there was a gust of cold wind as Clark appeared standing next to the couch. Lois shivered and frowned at him as she pulled a blanket over herself. "Any way you could do that without giving me the chills?"
"There is, but if I don't do that, then I can't do this." In a blink he was in jeans and a white t-shirt and getting under the blanket with her, pulling her close. Lois shrugged and smiled, letting herself melt into him a little bit.
"This is good, so you're forgiven."
"Good to know. What are we watching?"
Lois looked up at the television, letting the show play a moment before she gave up trying to figure it out. "Who knows; I wasn't really paying much attention. Been thinking."
"Very funny." Lois took in a deep breath and let it out slowly before speaking again. "I've been thinking about getting pregnant again."
"Huh. Well, I'm not opposed if you aren't, since you do all the heavy lifting, so to speak."
"Well, it's not really what you think. The reason I've been thinking about getting pregnant again is because I want to know if my memory problem really is cured. The one constant we've linked to the last two memory losses is that I was pregnant, and around fifteen weeks into it. Therefore, it goes to reason that a surefire test would be if I were to get pregnant again."
"I'm going to use my keen sense of insight to say that there's more to this than you're letting on."
"My problem is that this feels like an awful reason to make a baby. It's like what is really happening is that I'm testing my memory problem, and then we get a third child as a side effect of the test. It's just that it sits wrong in my head when I think about it, and I feel like I'd be having a kid for a purpose that isn't love."
Clark was silent a moment, and Lois sat up straight, watching him think. He didn't ever really get any looks when he thought, so much as he just looked like he'd been turned into a statue, sitting as still as possible. A really gorgeous statue, to say the least, but a statue none the less. She rolled her eyes, losing patience as he just sat there, now looking more like a bump on a log.
"You going to say anything, Smallville?"
He blinked a couple times and looked at her. "What? Oh, yeah. Any child we make will be out of love. Finding out if you do or do not lose your memory is just a little side note. If you want to have a baby now, then I do to. If you want to wait because you need time to come to the same conclusion I have, then I'm fine with waiting."
Lois frowned and slumped back into the couch. "Why do you make things sound so matter of fact when they sound all guilt ridden in my head?" Lois groaned and covered her face, cringing as she let them slide off and fall limply onto the couch. "I've become the over thinker in the relationship!"
"Somebody had to be, I guess. Maybe you were always the over thinker of the two of us and you just hid it better."
"God, that's depressing." Lois thought about what Chloe had said earlier in the day, and then thought about what Clark had just said. Any child they had would be because of love. Anything else would just be a little aside. She might not even notice until it was all over, like Chloe said. Well, that was unlikely, because she did tend to over think. She looked over at Clark. "Let's do it."
Lois rolled her eyes and poked him in the ribs, symbolically since it never seemed to bother him. "You know damn well what I'm talking about. I seem to have over thought this, though I maintain that it seemed perfectly valid until I heard you state the obvious."
"Wow, the roles really have reversed over the years." He winked at her and smiled. "So, this usually only takes one try, but I'm very willing to try more than once, especially if there's some time to practice before you're all fertile and whatnot." He paused a moment. "That fertile thing sounded better in my head."
"Well actually, since I've been thinking about this a lot, I noticed that we're at a very good time of the month for me to conceive. So, ya know, if you feel like this is a good idea we can..."
Lois didn't get to finish her thought as Clark leaned over and kissed her quite thoroughly, leaving her breathless a moment later when he picked her up and smiled at her. "Repeat after me: boy boy boy, very tall boy, but a girl would be great too."
Lois grinned and wrapped her arms around Clark's neck. "Boy boy boy, very tall boy, but a girl would be great too.. Let's make a baby Smallville."
August 19, 2026
Lois walked into the bedroom, running a hand through her hair. Reaching up onto the top shelf of the closet, she pulled down a couple of Jordan's presents and put them down on the bed. She slipped out of the heels she'd worn to work and kicked them aside, as she dropped her skirt onto the floor along with them and found a clean pair of jeans to get into. She cracked her neck as she changed her shirt and walked out of the closet, grabbing the presents and heading downstairs.
Getting the presents settled on the coffee table, Lois walked into the kitchen and pulled the ice cream cake they'd ordered and picked up earlier out of the fridge and put it on the counter. Ticking off birthday things in her head, she noted that the ice cream was still in the freezer, of course, the rest of the presents were hidden other places throughout the house since Jordan was quite inventive at getting at them, and the kids were being escorted over to the house by Clark and Bruce in fifteen minutes.
Grabbing the cake, Lois picked up the presents on her way towards the stairs to the basement, and after working the door open without a free hand, headed down into the now very colorful room. She spotted Chloe getting one last streamer up and smiled at her as her cousin turned to watch her put things down.
"The place looks great, Chlo."
"Thanks. I know you're still not the biggest fan of streamers, so I held back."
Lois looked around, finding that Chloe's definition of holding back was extremely different than her own. The basement did look quite festive, though, and letting her cousin decorate for the family party tonight did mean that she didn't have to mess with it when all of Jordan's friends came for the party on Saturday.
"I appreciate it, but the kids love it, and that's what's important. Plus, me not having to decorate is a big plus. It was just never my thing."
"I'm so very sorry that you cannot enjoy the simplicity that is decorating for you child's birthday party."
"Yeah, well, when you have two kids with the same birthday, you let me know how much time you want to use decorating."
Lois walked off into one of the two bedrooms the basement had, walking into it's closet and moving around some blankets before finding a couple of the smaller presents she'd hidden. As she walked back out to put the presents with the others, she spoke to Chloe. "How are you feeling?"
"Nine weeks pregnant. You?"
"Busy. Perry gave Clark and I three different stories today. Wanna come back to the Planet and take one off our hands?"
Chloe smiled, but shook her head. "No, that's alright. I think that I did the right thing, leaving back in March. I just didn't feel like I was making a difference anymore, and working for the online magazine means I can do all my work at home and spend more time with the kids. I don't want to say I felt guilty for spending so much time away from them, but I did a little bit.
"If I get itchy for print, though, Perry said that I can submit articles to him as a freelancer and he'll put 'em in, so I don't think I'll ever be completely out of the game."
"Well, now you can be lazy when you're all tuckered out from you're guest."
"No kidding. I swear, this kid must've just been extremely meant to be because I was on the pill and Bruce was wearing a condom just to be safe, because we were quite happy with four. Don't get me wrong, we're both over the moon that this little one exists, but what more can you do?"
"The only way there'd be less of a chance of you getting pregnant would be if he'd had a vasectomy and you'd had your tubes tied."
"Probably true. But, ya know, I guess we're book ending things with this one, because our first was unplanned, and now our last is as well."
Lois laughed a bit as she walked back into another closet and grabbed the last of Jordan's birthday presents. This was the big one, but it was in the littlest box. Smiling, Lois pocketed it and went and sat down next to Chloe, who was resting her chin on the palm of her hand, eyes closed. Lois sat down in a chair next to her, running a hand lightly over her cousin's back.
"I always forget the tiredness," she heard Chloe mumble. The blonde opened her eyes and looked over at her. "More accurately, I always forget how tired all the morning sickness makes me. What an exhausting activity for there not being much movement involved. I think I'm still just a little bit in shock, and that probably doesn't help the exhaustion either."
"Well, when the morning sickness is as prevalent as it's been for you this time, I think you're lacking some nutrients, too. Are you going to eat any of the pizza that we ordered?"
"I'll probably eat a slice or three. Well, hungry as I am, I'll probably eat the better part of a whole pizza but regret it tomorrow morning. C'est la vie."
"C'est la vie," Lois said as she smiled slightly and leaned back in her chair. Checking her watch, she figured the crowd would be there any minute, and true to her guess, she heard footsteps above them and kids were soon rushing down into the basement, Jordan at the head of the pack, with Andy and Bobby bringing up the rear. A moment later, Jack walked down, followed by Bruce, who was followed by Clark.
Lois grinned and got up out of her chair, walking over to Clark and taking her son out of his arms. "My baby boy! Happy birthday, Layne."
Clark had brought her around to that name. She felt naming their son that was like naming him Clark Junior, which had held no appeal to him. After they'd had the sex confirmed with 3D imaging, they'd both made lists of names, and when it had all been whittled down, somehow they'd ended up naming their son Layne. He seemed to like it well enough, though he was only turning two, so that helped.
Lois grinned, hitching him up a little higher as she walked back over to her chair. "Mommy loves you very much, Layne. How much do you love mommy?"
"And your mommy is a happy woman because of it."
Lois sat down and watched as Jordan inspected all the presents, looking at size and seeing if there was any special way they were arranged. It had probably been the same way for all kids that had birthdays and got far too many presents since the dawn birthday parties. She smiled as Jordan turned around and walked over to her, looking excited but obviously trying to control herself.
"Mom, when can I open presents?"
Mom. The first time that Jordan had called her mom instead of mommy Lois had just about cried. Her oldest was growing up way too quickly. Well, that was true for all her kids, but she had an eight year old daughter now! "You can always open presents, it just depends on if you're allowed to or not."
She had to fight to keep from grinning as Jordan rolled her eyes. She already had it down to an art form, the little over achiever. "Mom, when may I open presents?"
"If your dad says go for it, then I say go for it, baby girl."
Jordan turned and spoke across the room. "Daddy, may I open presents now? Mom says I can if you say I can!"
"Go for it, Jordan."
And thus the carnage began as Jordan tore through wrapping paper like it was yet another obstacle in her path to raking in the presents. They'd do just as well to wrap everything in newspaper, for all the attention Jordan actually paid to it. A few minutes later, every box was unwrapped and Lois stood up, walking over to Jordan.
"How do you like everything, baby girl?"
"It awesome, mom!"
Lois smiled and pulled the box out of her pocket, handing it to Jordan. "Well, there's your last one until your friends come this weekend. Hope you enjoy it."
Jordan smiled up at her and tore into the box, opening it up to find a small, folded piece of paper inside. She unfolded it and started reading. Lois nudged her a bit. "Why don't you read it out loud for everybody to hear."
"'This certificate entitles one Jordan Sullivan Kent to the bicycle of her choice, within reason, along with a new helmet and small accessories of her choosing. Happy birthday. Love, Mom, Daddy, AJ and Layne.'" Jordan looked up at her. "Daddy made this, didn't he?"
"He did. How could you tell?"
"It says AJ instead of Andy."
"Very astute. So, we were thinking that we could go look at bikes on Sunday, since your party is on Saturday. How does that sound?"
"Good, mom. Thank you!"
Jordan hugged herself to Lois's waist, and Lois just grinned and hugged her back. She walked over and sat down next to Chloe again, getting Layne settled on her lap as she looked over to her cousin. "And now we relax and let the guys do the major watching work."
"Hallelujah. When's the pizza getting here?"
"Shouldn't be too long. Hungry?"
"Yup. Tonight will be a nice stretching exercise for the old ab muscles, getting em ready for what's to come."
"I bet I still out eat you."
"Don't you always?"
"I really do." Lois smiled triumphantly before it turned into a grimace. "Remind me to go jogging tomorrow."
Just then, Layne wriggled down off her lap and took off running, and Lois jumped up and took off after him. Fast little bugger that he was, he eluded capture until she cornered him, exasperated. She swept him up into a hug, sweeping the dark, curly hair out of his eyes and placed a kiss on his forehead as he giggled.
Suddenly, Lois stopped, remembering when she'd been flying with Clark in 2021 and having that vision type thing of what had just happened. Shaking her head, she looked down at her smiling son, and after a second, smiled right along with him. She walked back over to Chloe and sat down again, this time keeping an arm around Layne as he wriggled.
"Nevermind about that jogging. This one keeps me moving plenty."
A couple hours later, the Wayne's had headed home and Layne was down for the night, with Andy fading as she sat on the floor, coloring just like her sister had at the same age, and Jordan still engrossed in her presents.
Holding the diary, Lois walked over to Clark, who was on the couch watching the Metropolis Monarch's game. She sat down next to him and smiled as he looked over, and she held out the diary to him.
"This is a diary that I started after the second time I forgot and has been going strong ever since. Well, until I was cured, that is. Having not forgotten during my pregnancy with Layne and in the subsequent two years, I think those problems are over and I wanted you to see this."
"Wow." He opened up to the first page and read it before looking over at her. "When was the last time you wrote in here?"
"When we found out I was pregnant with Layne. With the not forgetting after that, I never saw the need to write in it anymore. I've never been a diary kind of person, but that really helped me when I forgot back in 2021."
"How did I not know about it? I remember seeing you with this thing through the years, but you were always closing it or just brushed off my question about it by doing something sexy. I probably should have figured out what it was."
Lois smiled at him. "How did I not figure out you were Superman those first couple times I forgot when your disguise was glasses?"
He eyed her a second before shrugging. "Fair enough." He looked at it again a moment before speaking again. "Why now?"
"To close an era, Smallville."
November 13th, 2031
"You still make a good salad, Chlo," Lois said as she looked over at her cousin. Smiling, she popped a leftover crouton in her mouth and sighed contentedly as she sat back in her chair. Looking around at the long table, she studied the faces of all her family members. Everybody was smiling and talking, enjoying another big family dinner.
"And you didn't cook anything, which we all appreciate very much."
"Amen. Sorry, aunt Lo, but the one time you tried cooking for everybody, we all got food poisoning and it was a scary time in our two houses. I won't lie, there was a mutiny being discussed amongst us children since the adults let it happen."
Lois raised an eyebrow at Liz. "Was there now? Pray tell, who was the leader of this mutiny?"
"That would be me, mom."
Lois turned and smiled at Jordan, who was smiling right back at her and pulling her hair back into a ponytail. Lois knew that gesture well; she'd done the same thing at the same age whenever she thought there were going to be words, though admittedly hers with Jordan rarely had any heat in them. The General had taken to calling it her own personal version of putting on battle armor. She felt like doing right then wouldn't be the worst idea.
"My eldest daughter was plotting to overthrow the adults?"
"I would have led the charge if all the others had allowed you to continue cooking. The small dishes here and there making us queasy for a few hours was tolerable, but letting you make a whole meal? When even Grandma can't teach you to cook, it's a sure thing that the adults have lost all mental capacity in giving you reign over an entire six course meal."
"First off, that meal was only five courses. Secondly, just because I made all that food didn't mean you had to eat two helpings of most of it."
"Oh, yes I did," Jordan said as she pointed past her. Lois followed the finger and found herself looking at Clark. "Dad said that I had to be an example for Andy and Layne."
"Did he now?" Lois smiled at Clark, who visibly gulped and sat up a little straighter in his chair.
"He did, mom, and that's when I knew that he wasn't thinking on full power. I already knew to set a good example, because it's common sense. Never before had he or you sat me down to make sure I knew it."
"This is true," Lois said as she kept staring at Clark.
"After that, he went on like nothing had happened, and when Jack was looking equally as sullen on the way to dinner, I knew that he'd heard the same sort of speech."
"I did," he said. He sounded just like his father, but still looked just like his mom. It never failed to make Lois want to try and figure out just exactly how genetics worked.
"The next afternoon, after we'd all spent most of the night and morning feeling and getting sick, the young people held a meeting in our basement to discuss what would happen if we were put into a similar situation. We took a vote and it was a unanimous nine to nothing decision: the next time you make an entire meal we're going on strike, or at least to a restaurant."
Lois finally looked away from Clark and back at Jordan. "Nine to nothing? You, Jack and the twins I get. You're all thirteen or older, though a little young to be planning anything like a strike. Even Andy and Bobby are old enough, I guess, since they'll be ten in six months. Layne is really pushing it at seven, but your cousin Sharon is only four and your brother Caleb is three!"
Once again, the baby fever had hit her around the time Chloe had given birth to Sharon, and she'd talked Clark into trying to even things out and going for another boy. It had worked, Caleb being born just about nine months after Sharon had. "I think a more accurate tally is six to nothing, and I'm sorry, but you must have at least eight votes to strike."
"I'm old enough to vote, mommy!"
Lois smiled at Layne and nodded. "Alright honey, if you say so. Still, that leaves you guys one vote short."
"Jack and I discussed that separately and came to the conclusion that in the case of parental loss of mental capacities, as the senior member of each child group we can act as the voices of those too young to use theirs. Therefore, we voted on behalf of each, though they did attend and had their say. Each was surprisingly vociferous."
"I'm sure they were," Lois said as she turned away from Jordan and looked at Chloe, Bruce and Clark. "Our children are way too smart."
"I don't know, Lois. I think that if we were ever to allow you to make another big meal all on your own, they would have every right to stage their strike." Lois rolled her eyes as Bruce smiled slightly. "I'm proud of them, uniting against a common enemy."
"I don't think my cooking qualifies as the enemy, Bruce."
"Lo, your cooking is the bane of all humans that like to keep food in their stomachs."
"Wife, I hate to say it, but even I didn't feel so great after that meal. I remember seeing you keeled over in the bathroom, and until I knew everybody else had been stricken with the same, I thought you might be pregnant again. It actually rivaled the strength of your morning sickness for a little while."
Lois eyed each of them again, scowling. "It seems the vote really is unanimous against me cooking anymore. Alright, consider me staying out of the kitchen from now on." As she finished, there was a cheer from the children's end of the table, and Lois rolled her eyes. "Now that's just excessive!"
"We still love you, mom, but we're happy."
"Well, I love all of you too, Andy, but really, cheering?"
"You should be cheering too, Aunt Lois," Aly said.
"Instead of cheering," Lois said as she stood up, holding her glass, "how about a toast?" She watched as everybody picked up a glass and took a deep breath.
"To family: we don't always see eye to eye, and sometimes we form a union against one another, but we love each other, and that's what's important. Look out for each other, keep loving each other and make the best of life, because happiness is so much better than sadness. We're lucky, so cherish the love that's in this room. There's nothing else like it in the world."
"To family," she heard everybody else say amongst the clinking of glasses, and she took a drink of her wine, sitting back down and listening as conversations picked up again.
Taking a moment, she inspected each face, putting every feature she could to memory. Even if she hasn't forgotten since that day ten years ago when her life had seemed like it was being turned upside down, she still treated every day like it could be her last with these memories. She wanted these memories vivid another ten years down the line. She heard the clinking of a fork against a glass and watched as Jordan stood up.
"That was a good toast, mom, but here's what should really be toasted to: to no more meals that are going to put everybody out of commission!"
Lois threw her hands up and glared at everybody as they all clinked glasses again. "Thank you oh so much, baby girl."
"Had to be done, mom."
"I think I should start calling you my little terror instead of baby girl."
"If you do, I'll be sure to live up to the name." Lois frowned as Jordan grinned mischievously.
Clark leaned over and whispered in her ear. "Please don't. She's already got enough of your rebelliousness as it is." He kissed her cheek and smiled at her as she looked at him.
"Yeah, well, don't forget that you have a pretty rebellious streak yourself."
"I have to be drugged into it. What's your excuse?"
"It was more fun than being complacent," Lois said as she pulled him over for a searing kiss, then pushed him away a second later. "Are you going to be complacent, Clarkie?"
"Not if you're going to provoke me, Sailor. I love you."
Lois smiled, letting her head fall onto his shoulder as she watched everybody talk. "I love you too, Smallville."