When they arrived at the Smallville Medical Center, it was already a designated disaster area. Doctors and nurses bolting back and forth, gurneys flying down corridors, the injured screaming for attention. Lois Lane stood dumbfounded, steady but shaking, next to Jonathan Kent, who helplessly held his critically injured, unconscious wife in his arms. She couldn't remember ever feeling this way before. The General had placed her in a lot of precarious positions over the years, but until now she had always been infallibly fearless. She turned to Jonathan and immediately felt a knot grow in her stomach when she saw the sheer terror in his eyes. He was practically immobile.
"Mr. Kent," Lois hissed, jabbing him lightly with her elbow.
With that, he snapped back into life and began roaming the crowded emergency room urgently, shouting and pleading for a doctor. After nearly five minutes without success, Jonathan became frantic and approached Lois, reluctant but desperate.
"Lois, I hate to ask this of you, but…" He looked down at his nearly lifeless wife, tears brimming in his eyes.
She nodded. She had used her connections already once today, but she considered desperate measures to be entirely necessary on a day like this. Jonathan hung back a little as Lois approached the frazzled women at the reception desk.
"I'm sorry, but we're a little tied up right now, as you can see," retorted a particularly surly receptionist.
Lois tried to concoct a sharp quip to fire back with, but deemed this no time for sarcasm.
"My name is Lois Lane," she said bluntly. "General Sam Lane's daughter."
The surly woman immediately stopped what she was doing and looked up at Lois. "What do you need?"
"I need a doctor."
"You look just fine to me, Ms. Lane. Considering."
Lois stepped back and allowed Martha, in the arms of Jonathan, to come into view.
"This is Martha Kent, I've been living with her family for the past four months, to the eternal gratitude of my father. I know he would be disheartened to say the least to learn she was not provided with immediate care."
The receptionist observed Martha for a few seconds, then grabbed the nearest doctor. She whispered something in his ear, and he did not hesitate in commandeering the first available gurney. Jonathan gently placed her down and within seconds, she was whisked away from him. He and Lois stood motionless, watching until she was out of sight. At last acknowledging reality, Lois took Jonathan's arm and led him to two empty seats in the waiting room.
"She's going to be okay, Mr. Kent," Lois said, mustering up as much confidence as she could. "She has to be. The world's not ready for life without her just yet."
Jonathan nodded, solemnly, though he remained unconvinced. "She's been my life for so long, I don't know if…if…"
"Twenty-five years is a long time to belong to someone," Lois observed, thoughtfully.
"Not long enough."
Lois turned to him and smiled, admiringly. "You really love her."
He nodded, smiling sadly. "More than anything."
"Well," Lois replied, with only a hint of sarcasm. "You folks sure are an anomaly in this day and age."
Jonathan shrugged. "We try to be."
"Clark really admires you guys, you know," Lois said. "He's afraid he'll never find a love like that."
"He will," Jonathan answered, assuredly. "He grew up in the right environment, so he'll know how to spot it when the time comes. I'm sure one day he'll be sitting out in the courtyard on campus and a stunningly beautiful woman will approach him out of the blue, asking for his notes. He'll be so enthralled by her that he won't even think to ask her name, and he'll spend the next three days running a one-man search party until he finds her and wins her over with his irresistible charm and rugged good looks. And before he knows it, twenty-five years will have gone by. He'll look back and it'll all seem like yesterday."
Lois grinned. "So that's how it all went down."
"Clark's love story has a lot to live up to."
Jonathan nodded slowly, and they both looked up, their eyes following one of many gurneys that came racing down the corridor. They sighed, both thinking the same thing."