Butterfly Wings

Evidence, Part IV

Nefertiri's Handmaiden

Disclaimer: Guess what I'm going to say… That's right: I don't own Superman.

Note: Clark realizes something for the first time. FUTUREFIC! Clark and Lois are married in this one.

Clark could always, always, hear the sound of Lois's heart beating. It was a constant tattoo inside his head, even if he couldn't always immediately localize where she was. But he could hear her heart.

It was loudest when he was making love to her, drowning out all other sounds. It was softest when he was far away from her. It sped up a just a bit when she made a breakthrough on her story or when he kissed her. But it was there. Always. A steady, repeating lubdub lubdub lubdub that soothed his mind. Letting him know that she was alive and okay.

From the moment he'd found out that Jason was his son, he'd been able to hear his heart all the time, too. It changed pace more often than Lois's, when Jason was playing with his friends, running about. But it was always there, too.

It was like the background noise of the city that people learned to live with, found comforting. Cars on the street outside the window. Like the sounds of the night that he'd known as a boy in Kansas. A thousand crickets singing, lulling him to sleep.

Now it was Lois's and Jason's hearts that he slept to at night. A soft, constant song a thousand times more beautiful that the crickets. He would never, ever tire of it.

Sometimes he found himself tapping his pencil against his desk in time with Lois's heart, his foot against the floor in time with Jason's.

It was his connection to his family. Constant. Enduring. Concrete. Resounding in his head like the most beautiful symphony ever written by the Universe.

No one ever said that Kryptonians love the same way that humans do.

So Clark sat at his desk at the Daily Planet on a Tuesday like any other Tuesday. There was a stack of files a foot high on his desk. His wife and his son sat not far away her desk, quietly writing and coloring, respectively. Their heartbeats thudded softly in his head, soothing him into a relaxed trance as he worked his way through the files.

Suddenly, there was a new sound.

He couldn't place it at first. It was a soft flutter, as though a butterfly was beating its wings near his ear. He stopped reading the file in his hands and sat up a little straighter, trying to place the strange new noise that had invaded his senses. Cocking his head, he eliminated the other sounds of the world as he focused in on the light fluttering. Once it filled his head, he started to localize it.

It took him a few moments, but he eventually realized it was coming from Lois's general direction. For a moment he just assumed a moth was caught beneath her desk, but closer listening and a brief x-ray sweep revealed that to be a falsehood. He closed his eyes to try to localize the sound better.

Then he realized exactly where it was coming from.

His eyes snapped open and he stared at Lois in wonder.

Another three seconds and the shock passed, suddenly galvanizing him into action. He shot to his feet, knocking his chair clean over and ignoring it completely. The next moment he was at Lois's desk. He picked up Jason in one arm (the little boy let out a surprised squeak and clutched his daddy's neck), grabbed Lois's hand, and pulled them both out of the newsroom toward the stairwell.

The other reporters watched Clark's actions in open surprise, staring after the usually mild-mannered and quiet reporter as he stalked out of the room, Lois struggling to keep up with his longer legs and managing half-sensical inquiries.

Once Clark reached the stairwell, he lifted Lois off her feet, too. In half a second they were on the roof. Jason laughed with glee at the speed, and Lois gasped breathlessly.

"Clark Kent, what has gotten into you?" she demanded loudly as she and Jason were set back down.

"Shhh," he hushed her briskly as he dropped to his knees. He placed his hands on her waist and pulled her closer, and then pressed his ear to her abdomen.

Jason and Lois both started, "Wha-" but he shushed them again.

In the silence, he could hear the sound a little better. Like the wings of a butterfly, he could hear the heartbeat of his unborn child. He closed his eyes and savored the sound. After listening a moment, he pulled his head back and met Lois's confused eyes.

"Thank you."

Of course, this only confused her more. He smiled gently. Then he turned to his son.

"Come here, Jason." Jason came forward with a curious gaze. "Put your ear here, and then focus on Mommy's heartbeat like I showed you. Then let your hearing drift and listen to what's happening right there."

Jason did as he was told, closing his eyes to focus. "Hey!" he exclaimed after a moment, as a smile lit up his face. "What is that?"

Clark smiled up at Lois. "That," he said softly, "is the heartbeat of your little brother or sister."

Lois gasped, even though she'd suspected what was going on when Clark told Jason where to listen. Her eyes filled with happy tears, reflected gorgeously in Clark's own eyes.

Jason giggled in delight, pressing closer to his mother to listen better. "It sounds like a tiny little person running." Clark grinned at his son's amusement, and his wife's joy, and his own tears.

"Yes. It does." Lois is crying full-out now, and Clark rose to embrace her, lifting Jason up to join the hug. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," he whispered into Lois's hair. She was sobbing against his shoulder in happiness. Jason was sitting in his arms, wrapping his arms around his mother's neck to hug her as best he could.

"Don't cry, Mommy."

She sniffled and wiped her eyes with her fingers. "It's okay, baby. They're happy tears."

Clark kissed her. Thank you.

Jason smiled widely.

"Can we name the baby 'Spike?' I always wanted a brother named 'Spike.'"