A/N: Okay, here it is, the much asked for companion fic to Limelight. This is my first attempt at a longer fic (longer than 20 chapters) so I apologize if I epically screw it up :P Also, the talk about Kryptonian physiology and auras in the first chapter is something I think I heard somewhere in canon but if not I beg artistic license (and it's not just there for the hell of it either ;) ) Anyway, enough talk, onward!
Chapter One: Revelations
"Okay, Lois," Clark turned to her as they stood outside the large, grey building, "Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?"
"For the last time Clark," Lois replied rolling her eyes, "Yes. You're not having second thoughts are you? Because we've been over this, you said you were fine with it."
"I am fine with it." Clark answered.
"Are you sure, because you know I won't do this if you're not." Lois turned and looked up at him, "Clark, you can always say no."
"If you're happy with it, I'm happy. It's your body." Clark told her sincerely.
"It's our family," she shot back at him, "and as much as I love each and every one of our children, I don't want any more. I've been thinking about doing this since I had Dean."
"Really?" Clark looked surprised and a bit hurt, "Why didn't you tell me then?"
Lois sighed. "I never seriously thought about it until we had Lucy, of course we had Ella too soon after that for me to tell you then."
"Well, they are twins," Clark rationalized, earning himself a glare.
"Anyway," Lois continued grumpily, "If you'll remember correctly we started using protection after that. Unfortunately every little bit of you appears to be super," she complained, smiling when she saw Clark redden as he understood what she was talking about. "And don't make me call Dr. Klein to get him to explain the effects your damn Kryptonian aura has on me again. I barely feel fourty let alone almost sixty, and my body seems to agree, I could pop out another six before I go through menopause for all we know."
"I thought women liked it when people thought they were younger than they are." Clark's tone was light but Lois could hear the unspoken words behind it. They had never told anyone else- not even the kids or those in the know- but Clark's life expectancy was around a hundred and fifty and thanks to Kryptonian physiology and the way it effected humans Lois would probably live to be the same age.
"Most of the time we do," Lois agreed, pushing her fear of a lonely future back where it belonged- out of her mind, "but when I called I had to spend the first half an hour convincing the nurse I wasn't kidding when I said I still got my period." She hid a grin as Clark's cheek's reddened slightly at the last word, most people wouldn't have even noticed but Lois had spent the last two decades figuring out was to make him blush. "So," she continued, pretending not to notice, "it's taken us seven years since Chris was born but here we are," she waved her hand at the hospital entrance, "one little procedure and no more condoms for life."
"Lois!" Clark really blushed at the volume of her last statement which had caused a few passers-by to turn and stare.
"Oh, don't be such a farm boy, Smallville," she sighed, "you're a father of six, and I'm pretty sure everyone knows we didn't just find them in the cabbage patch."
"Let's just go in," Clark sighed, trying to keep his face from getting any redder.
Lois gave her name at the counter, smiled at the usual 'Say Hi to Superman for me' comments and took her seat with Clark. "When do you think we should tell the kids?" She asked, tapping her foot impatiently. "I mean, I'm almost certain no one's expecting any more siblings but we should still tell them sometime."
"I'm pretty sure Sophie already knows," Clark informed her.
Lois sighed. "And what Sophie knows, Jason knows. But they wouldn't tell the others would they?"
"Are you kidding?" Clark laughed. "Sophie would've at least wanted to tell Dean, Lucy and Ella but she'll do whatever Jason tells her to do and Jason would know we didn't want the others to know and I doubt Chris would have understood anyway."
Lois just sighed in response, causing Clark to raise an eyebrow. "I never wanted kids," she said, looking off into space, "and now I've got six. Six more than I ever intended to have and I can't help but love every one of them with every little bit of me."
"Lois?" Clark asked in confusion. "Are you having second thoughts? Because -"
"No," Lois interrupted him smiling, "In fact now I know for sure this is what I want. I love our family exactly as it is." Then she kissed him, causing a few people in the waiting room to look at them oddly. "I'm happy and I know this is the right thing to do," She told him pulling away, feeling that, for the first time since they had discussed this, she was speaking the complete truth.
Clark was about to reply but unfortunately something else caught his attention. He sighed, "Lois, I-"
"Go," she grinned, "I'll still be here when you get back."
"What if they take you in before I return?" he asked worriedly, listening to the sirens heading towards an apartment fire five blocks away.
"I'm a big girl." Lois rolled her eyes. "I'll be fine. And maybe I'll get to have you waiting on me for a change."
"Fair enough." Clark grinned, pulling his phone out of his pocket and looking at it like he'd received an important message, it was a common trick he developed for when they were around other people. "I'll be back as soon as I can," He promised, kissing her on the cheek and heading for the door.
Ten minutes later Lois was discreetly monitoring the news when a nurse walked into the room and called, "Lois? Lois Kent?"
"That's me." Lois smiled and followed the nurse down the hall.
The whole procedure was remarkably short, only taking twenty minutes. She had opted for a rather recent, very simple procedure which was safe and effective immediately. It didn't even hurt, it was slightly embarrassing placing her feet in the stirrups again- something she thought she was through with after her check-ups with the twins but it was nothing she couldn't deal with.
"And, we're done," the doctor announced a short while later. "You can get dressed now," he informed Lois.
He didn't need to tell her twice, she hated the stupid hospital gown had made her put on, it was very unflattering. Not that anyone but the doctor was going to see her in it but still.
When she returned to the waiting room Clark was absent, the TV showed images of Superman still assisting with the apartment fire which was only a short distance away.
Lois frowned as the camera panned back for a wider shot, if she wasn't mistaken (and she was quite sure she wasn't) that was the apartment building she had written a story on last month. Supposedly it housed a large number convicted and suspected criminals and was heavily involved in gang activities. Locals had tried to petition the council to tear it down but the mayor had been suspiciously adamant it stayed up.
The reporter in Lois smelled a story, arson maybe? Or perhaps some drug-making gone wrong? Whatever it was she was almost sure she could at least get a quick page two story out of it which would help her get back into Perry's good graces after she had supposedly 'caused a scene' at his sixth retirement party two months ago.
Not that Lois would call 'accidently' spilling champagne on Linda King after she made some comments about Clark being a cover-up for Lois' real relationship with Superman 'causing a scene'. Nor did she call Perry staying away from the bullpen for two weeks before deciding he couldn't live without the excitement of the paper a 'retirement'. Even if he had promised it was for good this time.
She took a five minute cab ride to the building jotting down notes as she went. But when she arrived she saw she was clearly not the only reporter who'd come hoping for a scoop.
Superman left just as she arrived, the fire completely extinguished and all residents safely outside, and a moment later Clark came running up behind her, his hair was slightly messier than usual and when he leaned down to kiss him her hello she caught a faint whiff of smoke.
"What's going on?" she asked as she saw to firemen bringing out several long boxes from the building and giving them to the newly arrived police.
"They suspect it was some sort of illegal drug making experiment gone awry, they're taking those in for evidence," he explained.
"What's in them?" Lois asked, jotting it all down.
Clark shrugged, "Dunno, they're locked up tight and lined with lead. Which is suspicious enough in itself if you ask me." He shook his head, looking at some of the residents who looked none too happy about the police getting their strange boxes. "You're all done then?" Clark asked, changing the subject, "Did it go alright? It didn't hurt did it?"
Lois laughed at his worry, "Clark, it was fine, a tad embarrassing but fine. Although after five pregnancies I should probably be used to strange men looking at my-"
"Lois," Clark cut her off again, blushing.
She rolled her eyes. "Over twenty years of marriage and you still blush like a little boy learning about S-E-X for the first time." She laughed, making sure to spell the word out loud and clear. "I guess it's true what they say, you can take the boy out of the farm but you can't take the-"
"Everyone get down!" A loud voice yelled as at least twenty men and women who had previously been standing around doing nothing suddenly pulled out guns and pointed them towards the reporters and police.
A few people hit the pavement immediately but the rest were rather stunned, one of the policemen reached for his gun but the cocking of a shotgun made him reconsider. "Now we don't want to hurt anyone," a large, black haired man announced, walking towards the police. At least ten cameras form various news stations turned to follow him. "But," he continued, "I think you'll find that all of my associates-" he paused to indicate to the other men and women with the guns "- will be more than happy to do so should the need arise."
Lois was mentally keeping note of everything he was saying so she could write it up later but she was also keeping an eye on Clark too. His eyes were darting everywhere, trying to find a gap in the cameras or guns through which he could escape and return as Superman.
Apparently the gang, or whatever they were, had the same idea. "Now we're going to have to go quickly here," the black-haired man, who was clearly the leader, said walking towards the three cops, "we need to move fast if we're going to be safe before Big Blue arrives." His 'associates' understood and half of them spread out in a circle, keeping the crowd of reporters back while the others grabbed the boxes and starred loading them into another van.
"Can you get away?" Lois asked Clark when she realized he hadn't yet gone.
He shook his head. "No, there are too many cameras behind us, there's no blind spots and someone's bound to notice if Clark Kent pushes his way through a crowd, runs down an alley and suddenly Superman comes."
Lois snorted softly, still keeping her voice low while watching the armed men at work. "We've talked our way out of trickier situations than this," she reminded him.
As if the universe had heard her, at that moment several more black vans skidded up to the site and yet more armed gang members surrounded the area. By this time the TV cameras weren't the only ones filming, cell phones, blackberries even a small laptop with a web cam suddenly appeared in the hands of the bystanders, recording everything.
"Hurry up!" One of the new arrives called, "Superman isn't on the news so he could be here any second."
"Or he's already here and not likely to show up at all," Clark muttered so only Lois could hear.
She turned worriedly, "So what are we going to do?"
"We can't do anything," He replied quietly, "As much as Superman does he can't be everywhere all the time, and this is going to have to be one of those times."
"So we're just going to let them take those?" she whispered angrily, watching as the gang loaded the mysterious crates into the trucks.
"We have to," Clark replied calmly, "no one's in any physical danger and most of these reporters have been at gunpoint at least twice before. Until someone's in real danger we'll just sit it out, okay?"
Lois sighed, seeing his point. "I guess you're right, but what happens if they do decide to shoot someone, could you stand by and watch that happen?"
Clark's eyes darted to the fifty or so cameras that would catch his transformation should he choose to become 'super' then to the innocent bystanders who were standing by looking terrified. "I don't know," he admitted after a moment, "but that hasn't happened yet and I'm sure it won't."
Lois bit her lip as she watched the armed men take away the police men's guns and order their hands up, a dozen cameras capturing every move. She looked round at the excited faces of the reporters who knew they were getting a good story out of this to the frightened faces of the civilians, Clark was right though- it would be foolish to risk changing now.
Her attention was bought back suddenly to the police car and the two cops standing beside it, there appeared to be some sort of argument between two of the armed men.
"That's the bastard that arrested my brother," the taller of them yelled, pointing at the policeman, "he deserves it."
The other one replied too quietly for Lois to hear but she saw Clark's eyes widen beside her. "No," he whispered, his gaze flickering between the two armed men, one of whom was opening one of the mysterious crates and the policemen standing beside the car which was surrounded by civilians.
"Clark, what's going on?" Lois asked but if he answered her she didn't hear it over the sudden gasps and screams of the people around her as the tall man pulled something large and cylindrical from the box. "Oh my God," Lois breathed as she realised what she was seeing. He was holding a rocket launcher, an actual rocket launcher, loaded and ready to go straight from the box, Lois didn't even know things like that could happen outside of the movies. "Clark." She turned to him, not quite sure what she could say that he wouldn't have already figured out. He meet her eyes just as the man pulled the trigger.
They say hidsight is 20/20 and when she looked back on the moment Lois could see a million ways it could have been different and a million reasons why it wasn't. It seemed to happen in slow motion, the tall man fired the rocket launcher at a range it was never supposed to be fired, there was no time for anyone to do anything at all, except for one man.
She saw a blur out of the corner of her eye but rather then the usual blue and red it was brown. The expected explosion happened less than a second later but the expected fallout never came, instead what followed was a stunned silence as everyone slowly registered what they were seeing.
As the smoke cleared Clark Kent stood at the epicentre of the blast, uncurling himself from around the mangled remains of the rocket. His glasses had been blown off and his shirt was ripped from the collar all the way down to his belt revealing a very familiar blue and red insignia.
He turned to meet Lois eyes and suddenly the silence snapped and there was a wave of noise as the reporters surged forward towards him, all yelling at the top of their lungs, demanding their questions be answered. But he wasn't there, instead he was five hundred feet above the action, holding his wife close to him and listening to the startled cries below.
"Clark," Lois said quietly, "what have you done?"
A/N: The events in Limelight take place directly after this chapter, so if you haven't read it yet and are liking this story now would be a good time to do so.
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