A/N:The idea for a story about how Lois is viewed by the two men who love her the most came to me about two years ago, but then I got distracted by other shiny projects and this got placed aside onto one of the back shelves in my brain. After "Promise" and "Requiem," I've went looking for something to exorcise the Clana demons, came across this, and thought I'd take it out and dust it off.

While technically a songfic, I guess, I don't think you actually need to listen to the songs, since I didn't when I was writing. I was sent these lyrics by a friend and thought they could weave into the story formulating in my head fairly well.

Anyway, I hope all enjoy! I own nothing but the writing.

The General's Daughter

Part I

I came to see her daddy for a sit down man to man
It wasn't any secret I'd be asking for her hand
I guess that's why he left me waiting in the living room by myself
With at least a dozen pictures of her sittin' on a shelf

She was playing Cinderella; she was riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad; looking up at him

In her eyes, I'm Prince Charming
But to him I'm just some fella
Riding in and stealing Cinderella

When Clark was left alone in the sparsely-furnished study with dark wood paneling and a wall covered with military accolades, he swallowed heavily and resisted the urge to pace back and forth. He had a newfound respect for his fiancé; he'd never before really realized how much the anticipation of a meeting with General Sam Lane felt like the anticipation of an appointment with a firing squad.

His anxiety wasn't helped by the fact that this appointment had been entirely his own doing. He'd not only been the one to initiate the encounter, he'd turned down Lois's offer to sit in on the tete-a-tete that was likely to be anything but cozy. When he'd told her his plans, she'd laughed and called him silly and old-fashioned, but his determination hadn't wavered. Growing up, his parents had drilled a number of dictates into his head; one of these had been that it was only polite to meet with the father of the woman he planned to marry. As his future father-in-law, the General deserved the courtesy of being informed of Clark's intentions, even if it was just as a mark of respect.

The memory of his proposal to Lois the week before – and her unequivocal yes in response – didn't serve to quell his nervousness as he would have hoped. Clark wasn't afraid that this meeting would have any impact on Lois's decision to marry him; even if General Lane decided to object to the marriage, these objections would fall on deaf ears. Lois always did exactly what she wanted to do, and Clark had no doubts – for possibly the first time in his life – that he was doing the exact right thing. He knew he would love Lois for the rest of his life and that there was nothing he wouldn't do to make her happy.

It was perhaps a bit comforting that he suspected the General knew the purpose of his visit today. When Clark had called him two nights before to request a meeting, the General had grown quiet for a long minute before accepting. Still, Clark desperately wanted this meeting to go well. In all the years that he'd known Lois, he'd never really had a chance to get to know her father particularly well – certainly not well enough to know if silence from the General (like silence from his oldest daughter) was a sign of impending danger.

In an attempt to take his mind off his sudden attack of nerves, he meandered towards a bookcase against the wall. For the most part, it looked like it was filled with books on military strategy and history, with a few murder mysteries peppered through the collection. One shelf was bare of books, however, and was covered in silver picture frames instead.

Clark finally began to relax as he looked over the series of photographs. On the far left of the shelf was a large photo frame that held a color photograph of a much younger Sam Lane, in full uniform, standing next to a beautiful woman in a white wedding dress. Clark had never seen his future father-in-law look so happy, in photographs or in person.

Next to it were several photographs of two little brown-haired girls with button noses and huge grins. With a soft laugh, Clark picked up one that caught his eye. It was a very young Lois (he'd know that stubborn tilt to her jaw anywhere), glaring at the photographer as she was forced to pose for the camera. She couldn't look less happy to be wearing the pink princess dress she had clearly been forced into – a mutinous princess who, even at the age of five, Clark would have bet had dreams of being a pirate. As he placed it back in its spot, he gazed at the one to its left – a Lois at about the same age, a pillow in the hands she had flung over her head. She was in mid-air and had clearly been jumping on the bed mattress in the background, using it to get lift as she leaped toward the camera and prepared to clobber the photographer with her makeshift weapon.

There were half a dozen other photos of Lois on the shelf. One of her as a little girl, dressed in a swimsuit, her hair wet on her shoulders. Her huge grin was stained red from something she'd been eating, and there was a gap in her smile caused by a missing front tooth. Another one was her when she was slightly younger. Ella Lane had her daughter wrapped in her arms as she helped steady the little girl on a bright red tricycle. Lois's head was bent to stare down at the foot pedals that seemed way too big for her tiny feet, and she was giving the entire contraption a distinctly dubious look.

There was a picture of a teenage Lois in a black dress, standing next to an anonymous boy of about the same age. They were clearly either heading out on a date or to a dance, and Lois looked impatient to get going. Alongside it, there were several pictures of Lois and Lucy together, at playgrounds, amusement parks, and other various locations – sometimes grinning wildly together, sometimes looking vaguely (occasionally even distinctly) annoyed with each other.

On the far right of the shelf was a picture that took Clark by surprise, and he picked it up to get a closer look at it. Given that he knew the strained relationship between Lois and her father, he wasn't expecting to see a picture such as this – the General and Lois were dancing with each other at what looked to be a formal affair, and, for once, they didn't seem to be arguing. The General's mouth was curved up into a smile, and Lois looked like she was laughing.

I leaned in towards those pictures to get a better look at one
When I heard a voice behind me say, "Now, ain't she something son?"
I said, "Yeah, she's quite a woman," and he just stared at me
And I realized that in his eyes, she would always be

Playing Cinderella, riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinkler with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad; looking up at him

In her eyes, I'm Prince Charming
But to him I'm just some fella
Riding in and stealing Cinderella

"It was a father/daughter dance on base," the General said from the direction of the door, and when Clark turned to look at him in surprise, he nodded meaningfully at the picture frame in Clark's hands. With a smile, the older man added, "I think it may be the only time she ever went to a dance and refrained from spiking the punch."

"She says it makes things more interesting," Clark offered as he hastily replaced the picture frame in its place on the shelf.

The General nodded. "That it does. Of course, with as interesting as Lois tends to enjoy making things, I half expected her to drive me to an early grave. I suppose you'd know something about that, though, wouldn't you?"

They had finally gotten to the purpose for the meeting, and as Sam Lane took a seat, Clark moved to sit in the chair across from him. "She does certainly know how to keep me on my toes, but I can't imagine life without her and I wouldn't even want to try."

The General didn't respond; he merely lifted his eyebrows in what Clark took to read as an encouraging gesture. Feeling slightly bolstered by the fact that his host didn't seem to be displeased – at least yet – Clark continued, "I wanted to meet with you today, sir, because…I've asked Lois to marry me, and she said yes."

A moment of silence fell between them, and then the General asked, "You do realize that Lois told me this already, right? So I have to wonder, why did you ask for this meeting?"

Clark gave a small shrug. "First, because I was raised with the idea that it's a measure of respect to tell your future father-in-law of your intentions. And second, because I wanted to give you a chance to speak your mind on the matter."

"Would my opinion make a difference?" the older man asked, sounding slightly bemused.

"Not to our intentions, no. But I know Lois would like it if you were happy for her, and if only for her sake, I want that as well.

The General looked slightly surprised at this answer. "An honest answer."

"I don't like to lie, and I don't do it very well," Clark admitted.

The General chuckled. "If that's true, I'm sure my daughter can make your life very difficult."

Clark's sheepish grin melted into a warm smile at the thought of his bride-to-be. "Yes, sir," he agreed. "I wanted to surprise her with the proposal, but I think she was on to me from about five minutes after I'd decided to ask her to marry me."

"She's just like her mother," the austere military man acknowledged, and his features softened at the memory of the wife he'd lost many years before. For the first time, Clark could really see the man beneath the uniform. "That woman never let me get away with anything," Sam admitted with a warm chuckle. "You sure you know what you're getting into?"

"I don't think anyone ever really knows what they're getting into with Lois," the younger man countered with a grin. "Just when you think you've figured her out, she does something to surprise you."

Sam nodded. "She stole a tank once," he said in affirmation of this comment.

Clark laughed. "I'm not surprised. About a year ago, she stole the Daily Planet's news helicopter. There was a story she wanted to cover and said she couldn't get there any other way."

"Perry had to love that!" the General cried, joining in the laughter.

With a grimace, Clark admitted, "Well, Perry wasn't terribly thrilled about it, but he got over it when she handed in her story. Jimmy, on the other hand, took the next two days as sick days, claiming emotional trauma." Seeing his companion's confusion, he explained, "Apparently, she doesn't know how to fly a helicopter as well as she had led him to believe."

Both men howled with laughter at the picture the woman they both adored must have presented as she tried to navigate a helicopter she didn't really know how to pilot – and the terror with which Jimmy had undoubtedly clutched onto his camera and prayed for salvation. Finally, gasping for air, the General grumbled good-naturedly, "It seems like only yesterday I was teaching her how to tie her shoes, and now she's stealing helicopters and getting married. Maybe I should have thrown Lois into the brig years ago and thrown away the key."

"She'd have only picked the lock," Clark pointed out with a grin. "Or sweet-talked one of your men into letting her out."

Sam sighed. "True." After a second's pause, he admitted softly, "I haven't always been the best of fathers to her, but she's still my little girl, my Little Lo, and she means the world to me. You'll take care of her?"

Clark's smile fell and he regarded the man across the desk gravely. "Sir, your daughter is an incredible woman. She's smart, brave, tenacious, and the strongest person I've ever known. With all of that, she can usually take care of herself and she hates it when other people try to take care of her. But because I love her, I promise I'll never stop trying."

The General nodded, sat up in his chair, and said, "Well, I suppose there's no point in making her listen to everything we're saying through the door. Lois, you can come in now."

He slapped me on the shoulder, then he called her in the room
When she threw her arms around him, that's when I could see it too

She was playing Cinderella, riding her first bike
Bouncing on the bed and looking for a pillow fight
Running through the sprinklers with a big popsicle grin
Dancing with her dad, looking up at him

If he gives me a hard time, I can't blame the fella
I'm the one who's stealing Cinderella

Without even an ounce of sheepishness at having been caught eavesdropping, Lois sauntered into the room and grinned at its occupants. "I just wanted to make sure there was no bloodshed," she teased.

Her father stood as she walked in – the unconscious chivalry of a life-long military man. Clark followed suit, rising to his feet and walking to his bride-to-be's side – the unconscious gesture of a man in love.

"You thought there would be?" the older Lane challenged with a chuckle.

"It's a father's prerogative to dislike any man his daughter brings home," Lois admitted.

"I suppose," he agreed. "But as future son-in-laws go, I suppose you could have done worse than Clark."

Lois laughed. "If I'm not mistaken, I think that might have actually been a compliment!" Raising her hand, she held her first finger and thumb about an inch apart and teased, "A little one."

Sam grimaced. "You think so? I guess I must be going soft in my old age."

With a grin, she wrapped her arms around her father's neck, wrapping him into an impulsive hug, and after a moment's hesitation, he returned the gesture. "Even I wouldn't dare touch the comment about your age, but trust me. You'll never go soft, Dad."

As his future father-in-law murmured something in his daughter's ear, Clark's eyes travelled from the scene before him to one of the photographs lined up on the shelf. The General was holding his little Lois, dressed in that pink princess dress she'd seemed to so dislike, in his arms. He was in full uniform, save for the ludicrously small golden crown that perched on the top of his head. Lois's wide grin could hardly be seen under the brim of the General's hat, which was enormous on her, falling down over her eyes.

That was his Lois – she might take down an armed guard without batting an eye and then go home and take a long, hot bubble bath. One minute, she wouldn't balk throwing herself into the fray without a second thought, blow-for-blow giving as good as she got. The next minute, she'd have a minor meltdown when Clark came to pick her up for dinner because she'd come to the illogical conclusion that she didn't have a thing to wear. Her cynicism on the outside hid a romantic streak a mile wide. She could be at home among diplomats and dignitaries, yet she could curse to make a sailor blush.

But that was the woman he couldn't imagine living the rest of his life without. Princess or soldier, lover or warrior, she was the incomparable Lois Lane, the woman he had come to love over time, triumph, and tragedy. She was his Lois, and every inch the General's daughter.

Part II

Look at the two of you dancin' that way
Lost in the moment, and each other's face
So much in love, you're alone in this place
Like there's nobody else in the world

I was enough for her not long ago
I was her number one, she told me so
And she still means the world to me, just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl

Time changes everything, life must go on
And I'm not gonna stand in your way

General Sam Lane stood at the side of the dance floor and watched as the new Mr. and Mrs. Kent took the floor for their first dance as man and wife. A lilting melody began to play and Sam took a sip of his champagne as he regarded the couple in silence.

He had rarely seen his daughter look so happy. She smiled up at her new husband, and it was like there was nobody else in the room. Maybe for her, there wasn't. He remembered his own wedding day; he'd only had eyes for Ella. He'd never forget how stunning she'd been, with her long white dress and the smile that could light up a room. How he missed her, particularly today, when walked their daughter down the aisle and given her away.

Seeing their daughter now, dancing in the arms of the man she'd married, he couldn't help but think that Ella would have been proud. He certainly was.

He was happy for her, as well. Of course, he'd seen this day coming for a long time – probably longer than she had. From that very first moment when she'd come to visit him over the holidays and told him that she'd been partnered with her old friend, Clark, he'd felt that this moment would someday come. There was just something in the way she said his name, in the gleam in her eye that came as she spoke of their adventures together. She'd fallen in love, though she didn't know it, and the General could only stand back and watch in silence as she slowly awoke to that fact.

Given his eldest daughter's stubbornness, it was fortunate that Clark seemed to adore her every bit as much as she cared for him. If Sam had suspected otherwise, he might have been tempted to pay his future son-in-law a visit to inform him of all the possible repercussions that could come from breaking Lois's heart. Heaven knows, once Lois had set her heart on a course of action, if the situation had been different with Clark, she probably wouldn't have been swayed by reason, no matter the amount of evidence against the man with whom she'd chosen to entrust her heart.. But such measures hadn't been necessary. General Lane was content in the happiness he saw that his little Lo had found. And yet, at the same time, he felt a profound and bittersweet sense of sadness, as he watched her dance with the man in her arms.

He'd never been the father he would have liked to have been, but he'd always loved his daughters. Through thick and thin, hell and high water, he'd loved them. He hadn't necessarily been the best at showing it, he knew. But he loved them. And Lois was his little girl, the tiny force of nature – all knees and elbows – that had blown through his life and had shaken everything upside down. The tiny creature, "knee high to a grasshopper" as he'd called her once upon a time, that proudly proclaimed that she was the General's daughter – and therefore essentially a General herself – and had commanded her dollies with all the tenacity and strength that could be expected of one with such a title.

It was hard to believe that she wasn't his little general any longer. She was no longer the baby that had lifted her arms and gurgled happily when he walked into the room. She wasn't the toddler who had given him her first salute and then asked through a hole in her front teeth if she'd done it right.

But I loved her first, I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed, when she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep

And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it's still hard to give her away
I loved her first

He may not have been the kind of father who always remembered birthdays. As often as not, he spent the important holidays far from home. He'd carted his daughters across the world, from bustling metropolis to barren desert, and he knew he hadn't spent as much time thinking about how such adventures would affect them as he should. But though he may not have been the kind of father who sent birthday cards or slipped notes of love and encouragement into his daughters' lunch pails, to be found later at school, he had, in his own way, loved them fiercely. And more, he remembered the important things.

Closing his eyes now, he sucked in a deep breath and thought about the very first time he'd ever laid eyes on his brand new daughter. How terrified he had been. How out of his depths. She hadn't looked as he'd expected her to look, immediately after her birth. General Lane was a man more familiar with death than life, and at first, he had been slightly put off by the sight of his new daughter. Babies were supposed to be pink and chubby, he'd always thought, and Lois was anything but. She'd been tiny and wrinkled; she looked like she was wearing bits of old elephant skin. She was practically bald and her forehead crinkled more than his did.

Ella, laughing at the sight of her fearless military husband shaking in his boots at the sight of the creature that they had made together, handed him the baby over the force of his vociferous objections. It wasn't that he didn't want to hold their daughter, of course, but he was just so large and Lois so unbelievably small. His hands were used to greasing rifles, not cradling tiny fragile bodies. He knew how to storm a beach, but the mechanics of changing a diaper or feeding a baby were completely beyond him.

And yet, for all his terror and trepidation, he already knew he'd kill anyone who hurt the baby in his arms. And he'd never forgive himself if that person was him.

But Ella hadn't been afraid. His Ella had never been afraid of anything – except (he recalled with the wave of sadness that always accompanied the memory) not getting to see their daughters grow up. She hadn't listened when he tried to explain the many reasons why he shouldn't touch his baby girl and, without a word, gave him one very good reason why he should.

As a small, squirming body was thrust into his arms, his heart stopped beating in his chest and his breath caught in his throat. Lois, comfortable in her mother's arms, had grown peevish at being thrust so unceremoniously into another's. Her forehead had crinkled, her eyes scrunched up, and her tiny little mouth had opened wide. Then she let out a wail entirely disproportionate to her size, and Sam had never felt so helpless in his entire life. He didn't know what to do about this little creature that now depended so much upon him. She was unhappy, and he didn't know how to fix the problem, to bring back the contentment that (at least in his view) Ella had so easily bestowed.

So he'd lifted a trembling finger to her cheek and brushed it lightly against skin so incredibly soft, he had to stroke it again just to make sure he hadn't been imagining it the first time. And, miraculously, Lois had stopped crying.

Her little eyes had blinked open, and though someone had later told him that newborn babies weren't capable of distinguishing shapes or objects – their sight was not yet developed enough – he could have sworn in that moment that she'd regarded her father gravely, even thoughtfully, as he held her in his arms. In that moment, he felt like she was silently regarding him, assessing his attributes just as critically as he had first assessed hers. For the first time, she'd looked up at her father, and he waited for her to decide whether she found the reality before her an acceptable one.

Her mouth opened wide again, and Sam had grimaced, expecting her final judgment to come in no uncertain (and not particularly flattering) terms. But instead of screaming her outrage that her father hadn't been, perhaps, a bit taller, a bit more handsome, a bit younger, or even a bit gentler in appearance, she'd produced a yawn that had taken up more room than she did and fallen promptly to sleep. Bowing his head next to hers, he could have sworn he even heard a tiny snore, though that could have been a product of his imagination.

Ella had drifted off to sleep by his side as he cradled their daughter in his arms and cooed all sorts of saccharine things that would have set his men back an incredulous pace or two. And then, when he stroked his little Lo's hand and she unconsciously wrapped all of her tiny fingers around his one large one, he'd grinned like a foolish teenager and brought forth a fresh wave of endearments that he would have thought was beyond him.

Holding his baby in his arms, he fell in love with his daughter – a love deeper and more profound than anything he ever would have thought possible. And so perhaps, as a new father, he could be forgiven the fact that he decided to overlook his earlier conclusion that his baby was wearing bits of old elephant skin and decided that she was the most beautiful baby in the entire world. This incredible creature was his. And he was never going to let her go.

How could that beautiful woman with you
Be the same freckle-faced kid that I knew
The one that I read all those fairy-tales to
And tucked into bed all those nights

And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time

I loved her first, I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed, when she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep

And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it's still hard to give her away
I loved her first

But let her go he had, in a thousand different ways over the years. When had she stopped coming to him to have him put a band-aid on a scraped up knee? When was the last time she'd regarded him with those brave, sad eyes of hers as she tried very hard not to squirm while he plucked a splinter out of her hand?

Sam opened his eyes again and looked at his daughter in time to see Clark sweep her into a dip and kiss her in full view of the guests. When had his little Lo, his baby, grown up?

It was bittersweet to watch her now. He was proud of the woman she had become, happy in the face of her unfeigned joy. But it was also sad to think of the little girl who had slowly, day by day, grown up and away from him. He remembered the baby she had been, all the chubby softness that had come after that first initial awkwardness of the newborn. He could remember the toddler she'd been, with her "Go Go Gadget" arms, as Ella had called them, because even at that young age, little Lois had excelled at getting into things she shouldn't and getting herself into trouble. The lanky apparent bonelessness of her elementary school years, the disproportioned awkwardness that came with being a teenager, the beauty that she'd grown into well before her sweet sixteen – he remembered them all.

It was hard to believe, even seeing her before him now, that she was no longer the little girl he told bedtime stories to. She wasn't the child who needed him to chase the shadows from out of her closet or out from under her bed. He'd missed so many moments, and he wouldn't get them back.

He wasn't going to be called upon to lend a hand to help her up or a shoulder to cry on; that was another man's job now.

But he had to admit, as he stared intently at Clark, that her heart couldn't be in better safekeeping than it was now. Her new husband may not have been, at first glance, the man Sam would have picked for his oldest daughter, but as he watched the two of them, he realized that Lois, like her mother, had known better than he in this, as in so many things.

Staring at the two of them, he acknowledged that his new son-in-law was every inch the man he'd ever hoped his daughter would someday find. Here was a man who would never forget to celebrate a birthday. He'd never be fooled by her tough exterior into thinking that she was suffering from heartbreak beneath, as her father had so often done. He'd never forget to tell Lois that he'd been thinking of her, and she'd never have to wonder about his love for her.

He would take care of her and, more, he would care for her. Every moment of every day. No father could ask for more.

As the song wound down, Sam watched as Clark glanced up and met his eyes from across the dance floor, and the older man lifted his glass of champagne of silent toast to the man he was entrusting with that which was the most precious to him. Sam had helped make Lois what she was today, and there was a part of him that wished he could freeze the picture on the image of the little girl he'd loved so fiercely, if not always well. But then he would miss seeing the incredible woman she'd become, the woman she was continuing to grow into every day. The woman she was for having known and having loved the man by her side.

It was hard to let her go, but he wouldn't sacrifice the chance to see the miracle before him, as she found the happiness and love that he and Ella had shared.

From the first breath she breathed, when she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep

Someday you might know what I'm going through
When a miracle smiles up at you

I loved her first

In a moment, they were before him. And just as her mother had always done, Lois was smiling to light up the room. "Well, General?" she asked with that teasing smirk that could only have come from his side of the family. "You ready for the father-daughter dance?"

"That depends," he returned with a smile as Clark graciously took the glass he'd been holding so he could take his daughter's hand. "Do you need to stand on my toes while we dance, like you used to?"

Lois chuckled at the memory of how she'd once had to perch precariously on the feet that had seemed so huge to her tiny self as he tried to teach her how to dance. "I may have my clumsy moments, but I think I can manage this one on my own," she joked as he led her onto the floor. "Besides, I'm not as small as I used to be, and, trust me, you don't want me to step on your feet in these heels."

"I know you're not a little girl any longer," he acknowledged softly as he took her in his arms and the song began to play. "But it doesn't matter how big and grown-up you are. In a thousand years, you'll still be my little girl. My little Lo."

The smile Lois threw at him was tremulous, and he had to blink away moisture in his own eyes before he embarrassed himself. With an awkward clearing of his throat, he glanced away to give himself time to regain his composure. When he turned his attention back to her, however, the tears that had filled his eyes a moment before were gone, to be left with the contentment that came from knowing that his little girl was genuinely happy. "Penny for your thoughts?" she asked as he picked up the tempo and began to twirl her around the floor.

"I was thinking how beautiful you look," he told her, a half-truth. She didn't need to know the idle thoughts of an old man who had just given his oldest daughter away. He supposed he should say something about how much he loved her, but such words had never come easily to him. He knew his silence on this matter had hurt his daughter in the past, though they'd come to an understanding of sorts in the last few years. Still, he wished he could find the right words to say to her right now everything she meant to him. But, as always happened, the words that came to mind were wholly insufficient to express how he felt.

So, though it wasn't enough, Sam acknowledged that he could only do the best he could and hope that one day, perhaps she and Clark would hold a little squirming bundle of their own. Perhaps then, they would realize that the words to express the depth of feeling he'd experienced from the moment he'd held a howling baby girl in his arms.

"Thank you," she whispered with a knowing smile on her face. Like her mother, perhaps she'd learned to read between the lines of what Sam said to all that he couldn't put into words.

The song ended, and Lois wrapped her hand around her father's arm, letting him lead her off the dance floor and into the arms of the man she adored. He started to release her hand, but then he stopped and squeezed her fingers. Looking down into her face and murmured softly, "I don't say it enough, but I want you to know that I love you, Lois."

At his confession, Lois grinned, and once again, his heart stopped beating in his chest and his breath caught in his throat as he beheld the most beautiful creature in the entire world. And then he let her go knowing that his little girl was safe, loved, and happy with the man at her side. She surprised him, however, and instead of taking Clark's arm immediately, she stretched up on her toes to brushed a kiss against his cheek, her touch so soft that he wished she would do it again, just so he'd know that he hadn't imagined it. "I love you too," she whispered.

Then she turned and dragged her new husband out onto the dance floor with a laugh, and as they walked away, Sam smiled to himself. He had let Lois go, but he wasn't losing her. No matter how much time passed, she would still be his little girl. She was so much like her mother that it took his breath away, and she was smiling up at Clark the way that Ella used to smile up at him.

And so, grabbing a glass off a passing tray, General Sam Lane drank a silent toast to Ella in tribute to the incredible daughter she had given him. She had grown from the most astonishing little creature into a beautiful, charming, amazing woman. He couldn't be happier for her or prouder of the life she had made for herself.

She was his Lois, his little girl. The new Mrs. Lane-Kent.

The General's daughter.