Chapter 35: Epilogue
Buffy opens her eyes groggily and tries to reacquaint herself with where she is. The broad expanse of her husband's chest upon which she lies answers part of that question.
10 years of marriage had not lessened her appreciation of the perfect specimen of masculinity that Clark is. If anything as his body 'matured' he was simply getting more magnificent to look at. Unable to help herself she plants kisses all over his chest mere seconds before strong hands flip her over onto her back and she finds a very interested Kryptonian male looking down at her.
"Now you know what kind of trouble that gets you into," he says playfully.
Buffy grins impishly. "Well I can always just shout 'Help Superman!'"
"I'm pretty certain he can't help you on this occasion."
Buffy links her hands round his neck while his hands slowly caress her body. Her eyelids flutter and she lets out a low moan. "Well I'm thinking that maybe this is one occasion I want the bad guy to have his wicked way with me."
Clark kisses her neck while she wraps her legs around his waist. "Hmm. Didn't we do the role playing thing on our last anniversary?"
"It was your idea," she reminds him.
Clark stops and raises his head to look at her. "Uh no," he disagrees with her. "It was completely your idea after we met our evil doubles from that parallel universe."
Buffy makes a face. "She was a total skank."
"Um...Buffy honey. She was you."
Buffy scoffs loudly. "She was in no way me," she insists. "I wouldn't be caught dead in that dominatrix theme she had going."
Buffy really doesn't want to relive it but lets just say it involved outfits in black leather and the liberal use of a riding crop. Anyway she realises he has gotten her off topic. She presses her lips back to his and resumes kissing him deeply but slowly taking her time to relearn exactly how he tastes and feels.
The two of them were alone up at the Fortress taking some time to reconnect after Clark had come back from the dead after Doomsday killed him.
That had been the worse month of Buffy's life because she assumed that that was it. That Clark was dead and not coming back due to the fact of what she saw in that once upon a time possible but no more future with Dark Willow holding sway over the globe.
However since they avoided that, Willow was happy and still good...mostly, it seemed everything had changed. Clark didn't stay dead although no-one can quite work out how. Not even Clark knew how.
However he did have a hard time adjusting to being back alive which Buffy of course understood perfectly having gone through that herself. Despite that it had still put their relationship under great strain and they had only just gotten it back to that place of gooey goodness. Sorting it out in the end had involved Buffy having to take her turn in taking a trip through Clark's mind like he did in hers long ago.
Clark's mind was a weird place and seriously his obsession with Lana during his teenage years bordered on the unhealthy/stalker-esque end of the spectrum and on top of that while in there she got to meet Clark's never to be forgotten id personality 'Kal' and the 'Kal-El' Jor-El created once upon a time when he brainwashed Clark so good time was had by all.
Note the extreme sarcasm used there but Buffy did find it quite informative and in the end she did get to the root of Clark's issues which revolved in the end about his fear of living forever and watching the people he loves die. Buffy got to see the nightmare of his where he stands all alone in an endless graveyard and yeah she could see why that would freak him out. It freaked her out and she has spent a great deal of her life around graveyards. Well anyway they got to the root of his problem and once that was sorted they started to bring him back to himself which brings her back to where she began about her and Clark taking some time to be alone and reconnecting in every way possible.
Several hours later after falling asleep utterly exhausted Buffy stretches out her overused muscles. One thing about Clark he certainly helps keep her in shape. She sits up and looks around only this time Clark is gone and she is floating above the bed.
"One of these days I'll stop doing that," she tells herself as she lowers herself to the floor, landing softly on her bare feet. The floating had started when she was pregnant. Mothers and their babies exchange blood through the womb so in a sense she ended up with Kryptonian blood in her veins. Combine that with the supernatural energy that gives her her uber-slayer powers and what you end up with is an uber-uber-slayer whose powers ended up even more enhanced than they were before.
Not quite on a Kryptonian's level but she could run and fly faster then sound and she could lift several thousand tons. It had helped fend off the varying threats they had faced over the years. Lex and his constant scheming primarily along with the New God Darkseid who tried to use her to enslave the universe. Watching a frankly pissed off Clark unleash a butt whoopin' on him was a joy to behold. Clark when he was angry...Buffy doubts there is any force in the universe that could stop him.
Buffy silently walks through the Fortress looking for Clark. The cold doesn't really bother her anymore. She finds Clark in the 'Sun Chamber' where concentrated sunlight was focussed in to help recharge and heal his body. She walks up and wraps her arms around him from behind.
"You left me all alone," she says with a pout.
Clark turns round and pulls her close to him. "Sorry," he apologises, kissing her on the top of her head. "Couldn't sleep," he explains.
"Still having nightmares?" she asks with worry. He had been having frequent nightmares since his resurrection, mostly revolving around Doomsday.
"Yes," he confesses to her. Buffy is the only one he has found himself able to confess in and when he first came back from the dead he didn't do that which led to their marital problems. He just felt so...numb and he knew Buffy understood but he lacked the ability to empathise at all with anything. It had been a long road back to this point and he still wasn't back 100% to the way he was but the really important part was that he and Buffy had sorted out most of their issues.
The last few days here, alone, had been wonderful. Perhaps better than their honeymoon.
He lets out a sad sigh. "Back to the real world today," he points out for as much as he would love to stay here with Buffy they had responsibilities to return to. Not least of which was their only child.
Buffy closes her eyes and lets out a sigh at that too. She closes her eyes and listens to his heart beat, a sound she thought she would never hear again. "I'm getting too old for all that," she says which is not far off the truth. Slayers were not suppose to live into their mid 30s. She certainly never expected to make it here.
Clark grins goofily at her. "You don't look that old although..." his eyes narrow slightly as if looking at something, "Is that a wrinkle?"
Buffy's eyes shoot open. "What!" she screams before blurring out of Clark's arms to the nearest mirror.
By the time Clark catches her she is peering intently at her reflection looking for said wrinkle. He can't stop himself laughing. Sometimes she was just too easy.
Buffy turns to face him, her face like thunder as his laughter tells her he was winding her up. She places her hands on her hips. "Tell me again why I'm still married to you?"
"You can't resist my farm boy charm?" he puts forward innocently.
"Keep telling yourself that Kent," she snorts.
"Ok firstly you have got to stop hanging around Lois. You're picking up her lines and secondly which Kent are you referring to...Mrs Kent?"
"I never agreed to that name," she insists.
"Yeah ya did when you said 'I do'." He then walks forward to her and rubs her arms with his hands. He speaks softly but seriously. "And I'm eternally grateful that you did say that."
"Me too," she speaks earnestly. She then slaps him hard across his chest. "However tease me about wrinkles again and I'll hit you harder than that next time," she threatens albeit jokily so.
Clark brings his index and middle finger to his temple and gives her a salute. "Yes ma'am."
Ooh. Buffy wishes he hadn't said that. She finds it such a turn on when he calls her ma'am and they really don't have time if they are going to get back when they agreed to.
Oh to hell with it. They can be a few minutes late she decides as she jumps him.
Martha Kent checks the clock one more time to see that Clark and Buffy are an hour late. A subtle smile comes to her lips. To be honest she was happy if they were late because in her mind that meant they were doing well.
She sips on her tea as she reads the paper. It was full of the usual really. Criminals being stopped by the ever expanding Justice League. There were still stories about Superman's miraculous return from the dead. That had been the worse month in Martha's life since she lost Jonathan but thank God Clark had come back to them all.
Martha gets up to put her cup in the sink, her joints protesting slightly as she does so. Age catches up with all of us at some point. The ever increasing amounts of visible grey in her hair was evidence of that.
As she puts her cup away out the window she spots Clark and Buffy landing smiling, laughing and looking very much like a couple in love. Martha smiles in response. She gives it 5 seconds.
"Mommy! Daddy!" a voice squeals in joy as a blur emerges from the barn and runs right at Buffy and Clark.
Clark bends down and catches the blur which turns into a blue eyed, blond haired ten year old girl. He then swings her around a few times all the time smiling at one of the most precious people in his life.
"Stop hogging my daughter Clark," Buffy protests.
Clark kisses the girl's cheek and hands her over to Buffy who holds the girl close. After losing her once she was never going to lose her again and it made Buffy appreciate every second of the miracle her and Clark's daughter is.
"You been a good girl for Grandma Karen?" Clark asks as he smooths some of her blond hair down.
"Yes daddy," she says looking far too innocent, a look she inherited from her mother or at least that is Clark's current working theory.
Karen and yes it is Karen by some miracle or quirk of fate or simply time itself trying to restore something that should never have been taken away in the first place. Shortly after her birth Clark had gone to see Dr Fate due to something the sorcerer had said when they first met about Karen Summers-Kent as Clark knew her being lost forever. Dr Fate had explained it by pointing out the following. The Karen Clark met in the future was the product of a girl who had lost her mother as a baby and her father when she was 11 and grew up in an apocalyptic world. In that sense that version of Karen could never come to be as Buffy had not died and Willow had not gone crazy.
Clark and Buffy, still carrying her daughter, enter the house and greet Martha.
"Enjoy your vacation?" Martha asks them.
"Oh yeah," Buffy says too readily which makes Clark blush since she said that in front of his mother. Martha just smiles politely and decides to spare her son the embarrassment on this occasion.
"Mommy?" Karen queries.
"Yes," Buffy says with a smile. She always smiles around Karen.
"I drew a picture for you and daddy. Wanna see?"
"Of course honey."
Buffy finally puts Karen down and the blond girl blurs off and reappears a few seconds later with a coloured picture depicting lots of familiar people standing in a green field with the sun in the sky. It was really quite good for a 10 year old.
Buffy and Clark sit on the floor as Karen explains her drawing to them. Buffy laughs at the image of Dawn Karen drew because it showed Dawn's current state i.e. a large round middle to reflect Dawn's pregnancy.
Dawn was still with Connor believe it or not or maybe it isn't so unbelievable. Connor is Angel's son right down to the matching scowl and not dissimilar personality that has an effect on Summers women. Angel was...well he was still out there helping the helpless with Cordelia at his side using the visions she receives to continue to beat back the influence of Wolfram and Hart. That's a long slow battle.
The same one in a way Clark and the Justice League fight. Wolfram and Hart like to keep people blinded and indifferent to the evil in the world. Clark and the JL try to inspire people that that fight is one everyone has to fight every day by simply not looking the other way, not accepting corruption as a given or that nothing can be done. Something can be done if you simply try.
After lunch that day, Buffy is outside playing with Karen when she stops for a minute as Clark walks out of the house talking animatedly on the phone. Had to be Lois. Only Lois got him scowling that intensely. Lois hadn't changed. Still chasing stories no matter how much danger she got herself into that Clark usually ended up having to get Lois out of.
Chloe had mentioned that what Lois needed was a man to try and reign her in a bit. Not that Chloe meant it in a bad way. Just someone who can get Lois to look at herself and realise when she is pushing too far. Last she checked Chloe was trying to set Lois up with Perry White's nephew Richard.
Chloe and Willow were good. Almost sickeningly sweet around each other still.
Clark ends his phone call.
"Lois?" Buffy asks him.
Clark nods. "Lois," he confirms.
"It can't be that bad," she says. "I thought she was in Washington covering the conference."
"She is but you know Lois. She found trouble anyway although I could blame Faith."
Buffy groans. Faith and Lois together was bad. Poor Xander was going to end up in an early grave. "I thought Faith wasn't going to this conference. In fact after last year she said you couldn't drag her there short of drugging her up and carrying her there."
Clark shrugs. He has no answer with him being dead and all he missed a lot of the planning for the conference this year. The annual conference where the Slayers meet world representatives to give them all a review of the supernatural world.
"Who did the League send again?" Buffy asks having forgotten.
"Ah. Good speech?"
"Yes. I was just watching it. The Madame Ambassador gave her usual polished performance."
Diana was the Ambassador for her homeland these days which was a far cry from the person Diana was when Clark first met her when she was more a warrior than anything else. It was like he told Bruce though all those years ago. Diana just needed to adjust to the world and when she did the caring, compassionate person she really is shone through. Although Diana still is and will always be royalty and she carries herself in that manner.
Buffy shakes her head and chuckles lightly. Clark only calls Diana 'Madame Ambassador' to wind her up. He repeatedly calls her Princess for the same reason despite Diana numerous requests and threats to inflict mortal harm upon him for him to stop.
"Daddy! Daddy!" Karen yells leaping up and down to get his attention.
Clark looks at his daughter with a warm smile and a warm feeling swelling his heart. "Yes sweetheart."
"Can we go flying? Mommy said we couldn't."
"Did she now?" Clark says with a grin knowing he can get one over on Buffy as far as Karen is concerned.
"It's daytime!" Buffy points out as in they risk being seen.
Clark bends down and picks Karen up. "Mommy's being a big meanie-head isn't she?"
Karen giggles and nods.
"Better than being a big poohead," Buffy mutters under her breath.
Karen hears her though and covers her mouth as she giggles some more. "Oh daddy. Mommy swore!"
"I heard," Clark says. "I think she needs to get the tickle punishment. What do you say?"
"Yay!" Karen cheers and leaps out of her father's arms as she and Clark start to chase Buffy around the farm.
Martha comes to stand on the porch as she watches them with a broad smile on her face. Her only sad thought is that Jonathan is not here to see this.
That night Buffy stands at the doorway to Karen's room leaning against the frame as she watches Clark read Karen their daughter's bedtime story. Once done he plants a tiny kiss on Karen's forehead. Buffy walks in and does the same before they both make sure she is tucked in.
Clark and Buffy quietly walk out as Karen's hearing while not super is well above a human's. They gently close the door.
"You know you spoil her," Buffy points out as the two of walk down the stairs of their house in Metropolis.
"And you don't?" Clark hits back with.
"Course I do," Buffy says with a grin. "She's my little girl."
"Not so little anymore."
"God I know. It seems like only yesterday I was screaming at you during labour."
"For my hand it still feels like yesterday," Clark says making a pained expression and shaking said hand out. Buffy had come close to breaking it.
She elbows him in the ribs for that one.
They reach the lounge and sit down together on the couch.
"How are you doing really Clark?" Buffy asks him, her voice inflected with a soft earnest tone conveying her wish for him to be completely honest about how he is feeling.
"I have you and I have her and that is all I need so I'm doing fine."
"Do...have you remembered anything?" she wonders since Clark's memory of the afterlife was sketchy at best which is why he doesn't know how or why he is back.
Clark shakes his head. Buffy takes one of his hands into her own. "Well if you do know that I'm here for you."
Clark kisses her gently. "I know," he says in a whisper. He leans into her and she holds him. "So when were you going to tell me?" he suddenly asks her.
"What?" she asks completely lost, having no idea what he is on about.
Clark looks her directly in the eye. "Come on Buffy," he prompts her. "Superhearing. X-ray vision."
"What?" she repeats.
"You don't know," he realises and then bursts out laughing long and hard. Probably the most he has laughed since he came back from the dead.
Buffy's expression is one of utter bafflement. "What's so funny?"
Clark's laughter eases and he places one of Buffy's hands on her stomach. "Lets just say Karen will be getting some company soon."
Realisation dawns on Buffy and her eyes almost pop out of their sockets. "You mean...we're..."
Clark nods as an enormous smile grows.
"But...uh...we...tried...after Karen and we couldn't...it never..."
It is always amazingly strange to see Buffy lost for words. What she means is that they did try to give Karen a little brother or sister but they never could seem to conceive another baby. It seemed like Karen was a one-off miracle...until right now.
Buffy leans her head back and groans. "Great. You know how long it took me to get back into shape after Karen. My ass was huge after her!"
"No it wasn't," Clark assures her. "It was just more of you to love," he teases.
Buffy fixes him a dirty look. "Keep saying stuff like that and I'll be a single mother Clark because I'll be killing you."
"Oh like I haven't heard that one before," he says with a theatrical roll of his eyes.
"Pregnant or not Clark I can still kick your ass."
"Only because you know I won't fight back. That's hardly fair now is it."
Buffy hits him with a cushion.
"Oh hey easy. Those are new," he complains and hitting them off him risks destroying them. Clark takes a moment before he puts his arms around his wife. "Are you ok?" he asks her more seriously.
"Yeah," she says with a smile starting to form. The image of a little brother or sister for Karen is truly a happy one.
"I love you," Clark tells her. "And death will never stop that," he promises her.
"I love you too," Buffy tells him. "And I am so getting my record back," she promises him in regards to who has died more often.
Clark chuckles taking it in the humour she meant it. "You are welcome to try."
The two share a kiss and with another baby on the way their Entwined Destinies begins a new chapter.
Author's Note: The End. The absolute end. After over 3 years it's finished. Although I don't rule out one-shots set in this universe in the future and I don't rule out exploring the alternate end to this story where Buffy dies. In either case it'll be awhile before I come back to it. Thank you...a big thank you to those who have followed this from the beginning. I hope you have enjoyed it and I thank you for and have enjoyed all your reviews.